While lowly council staff have their pay frozen or worse still lose their jobs, two thirds of council bosses managed to get a pay rise last year. Even though the government called on them to reduce their salaries by 10%.
Are we to take it that central government are, as usual, full of hot air when it comes to these sorts of issues and that apart from more grandstanding nothing will actually change?
A Telegraph report shows that 114 town hall bosses earn more than our Prime Minister, some with pay packet rises of up to Â£17,000.
This also includes some chiefs who publicly said that they would take a pay cut and got applauded for it.
Grant Schapps, the local government minister, is quoted by the Telegraph as saying "It is astonishing that it appears chief executives are finding elaborate ways to hike their pay through the back door.”
"A culture of bumper pay and perks has no place in local government especially during these tough times across the public sector. Cutting pay is one thing chief executives can do to demonstrate a personal commitment to protecting the front line. I urge them to do the right thing and lead from the front."
Of the 25 council chiefs with the highest pay, 16 were awarded pay rises says the Telegraph.
The report says that Essex and Brentwood county councils’ joint CEO, Joanna Killian, who says she would take a 5% pay cut, saw an overall increase of Â£4,000 after bonuses; expenses and pension contributions were added. The council say that as she’s doing two jobs she’s saving the country money.
And that Hammersmith & Fulham’s boss, Geoff Alltimes, ‘…took home Â£11,193 more last year than he earned in 2009 after receiving a supplementary payment for acting as returning officer in the local and general elections.’ Something that was ‘due to the system’ according to the council.
After the banking crisis the top bankers came under fire for their huge bonuses, so salaries were increased and bonuses reduced. The outcome? If Barcap was anything to go by, more money paid out in total
So, while the bankers have turned their bonuses into salaries to fool and placate the mobs it seems that the council chiefs have turned their salaries into bonuses and expenses for the very same reason.
Pity the rest of us can’t do that!