A spokeswoman for the Taxpayers Alliance, which is calling for reform of the welfare system, said: “The increase in the cost of benefits exceeds what can be accounted for by inflation or rising unemployment. Welfare is there to help people who have fallen on tough times or who need our help, those who can work should be expected to do so not left to live on hand-outs indefinitely.”
Lee Canning, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance in Wales, said offences committed by officers needed to be looked at “case by case”.
“Driving offences are so easy to obtain. I’m not a driver myself but if you are one mile [per hour] over the speed limit, that can happen,” he said.
“When you come down to animal cruelty and personal data offences, these are serious instances.
“We do have to look at what sort of regulations are in place to protect the public against that.”
Local councils paid £5.175 billion in contributions to employees’ pensions last year, according to a new report.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) calculated that the contributions equate to £1 out of every £5 gathered in council tax.
The TPA found that numbers are rising, even though serving on a council has traditionally been regarded as a voluntary activity and not a job. In 2010/11, 4,548 councillors were enrolled on the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), an increase of more than 1,000 since 2007/08, when the figure stood at 3,527.
Robert Oxley, campaign manager for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, has labelled the payment “over-generous”.
Mr Oxley said that such payments were over-the-top at a time when councils are making cuts and savings.
He added: “Allowances for chairing committees are meant to cover the extra costs incurred by a councillor taking on additional responsibilities.
“They shouldn’t be treated as an easy way to top up a local politician’s income.
“Councillors should look at cutting poorly administered allowances when there is little justification for their continued payment.”
Robert Oxley, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Despite the need for savings, too many councils are still being frivolous with taxpayers’ money.”
The eye-watering figures were revealed by research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance.
Director Matthew Sinclair said: “These gold-plated retirement deals have all but disappeared in the private sector and it simply isn’t sustainable to keep the system as it is. These figures show the urgent need to reform the Local Government Pension Scheme.”
The TaxPayers’ Alliance said the amounts were “unacceptable”.
It calculated that across the UK the contributions equate to £1 out of every £5 gathered in council tax. In Wales, the figure is closer to one in three.
Director Matthew Sinclair said: “It’s unacceptable that ordinary families and pensioners, who have seen council tax bills almost double in the last decade, have so much of their money spent on council pensions.
“These gold-plated retirement deals have all but disappeared in the private sector and it simply isn’t sustainable to keep the system as it is.
“These figures show the urgent need to reform the outdated Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and to tackle the growing trend of councillors joining.”
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