New Research: £1 in every £5 of Council Tax goes on council pensions

January 25, 2012 1:00 AM

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) reveals that the equivalent of £1 in every £5 of Council Tax raised in the UK is spent on council pensions.

A new TPA report also details the explosion in the number of councillors claiming council pensions.  Despite supposedly being volunteers, there are now 4,548 councillors on the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), up by over 1,000 since 2007-08.

Click here to read the full report including a full breakdown by council


Click here for the complete press release


The key findings of this research are:

  • Total employer (taxpayer) contributions amounted to £5.063 billion in 2010-11. That is equivalent to £1 in every £5 of Council Tax. In 2009-10 the figure was £5.079 billion

  • In 2010-11 4,548 councillors were enrolled on the LGPS, an increase of 252 from the previous year’s 4,296. This has increased significantly from 3,527 in 2007-08

  • Birmingham spent the most on employer pension contributions in 2010-11 with a total of over £112 million, up from £110.3 million in 2009-10. The local authority that spends the most on pension contributions per head of their population is Falkirk council in Scotland at £341.24 per head.

  • The Scottish council with the highest employer pension contributions in 2010-11 is Fife at £56 million, an increase of £12.3 million from 2009-10

  • The Welsh council with the highest employer pension contributions in 2010-11 is Cardiff with £32.9 million

  • The Northern Irish council with the highest employer pension contributions in 2010-11 is Belfast with £11.9 million

  • The local authority that spends the most on pension contributions per head of their population in England is Dorset at £179.11 per head. In Wales it is Blaenau Gwent Council with £215.10; and in Northern Ireland it is Belfast City Council with £44.64 per head

  • The median average number of councillors on the LGPS is 4 and the mean is 11

  • The greatest increase in the number of councillors on the LGPS was at Fermanagh District Council where 19 councillors joined in 2010-11. In 2009-10 councillors were not able to join the scheme. This was the highest number in Northern Ireland

  • 35 councils reduced the number of councillors on the LGPS in 2010-11 from the previous year

  • Highland Council had the highest number of councillors on the LGPS with 57

  • The English councils with the highest number of councillors enrolled in the LGPS are Leeds City Council and Dorset County Council with 56 each in 2010-11

  • The Welsh Council with the highest number of councillors on the scheme in 2010-11 is Powys County Council with 51

  • Across London there are 589 councillors on the LGPS – the highest across all English regions


Click here to read the full report including a full breakdown by council


Click here for the complete press release


Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, 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 and to tackle the growing trend of councillors joining."

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) reveals that the equivalent of £1 in every £5 of Council Tax raised in the UK is spent on council pensions.

A new TPA report also details the explosion in the number of councillors claiming council pensions.  Despite supposedly being volunteers, there are now 4,548 councillors on the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), up by over 1,000 since 2007-08.

Click here to read the full report including a full breakdown by council


Click here for the complete press release


The key findings of this research are:

  • Total employer (taxpayer) contributions amounted to £5.063 billion in 2010-11. That is equivalent to £1 in every £5 of Council Tax. In 2009-10 the figure was £5.079 billion

  • In 2010-11 4,548 councillors were enrolled on the LGPS, an increase of 252 from the previous year’s 4,296. This has increased significantly from 3,527 in 2007-08

  • Birmingham spent the most on employer pension contributions in 2010-11 with a total of over £112 million, up from £110.3 million in 2009-10. The local authority that spends the most on pension contributions per head of their population is Falkirk council in Scotland at £341.24 per head.

  • The Scottish council with the highest employer pension contributions in 2010-11 is Fife at £56 million, an increase of £12.3 million from 2009-10

  • The Welsh council with the highest employer pension contributions in 2010-11 is Cardiff with £32.9 million

  • The Northern Irish council with the highest employer pension contributions in 2010-11 is Belfast with £11.9 million

  • The local authority that spends the most on pension contributions per head of their population in England is Dorset at £179.11 per head. In Wales it is Blaenau Gwent Council with £215.10; and in Northern Ireland it is Belfast City Council with £44.64 per head

  • The median average number of councillors on the LGPS is 4 and the mean is 11

  • The greatest increase in the number of councillors on the LGPS was at Fermanagh District Council where 19 councillors joined in 2010-11. In 2009-10 councillors were not able to join the scheme. This was the highest number in Northern Ireland

  • 35 councils reduced the number of councillors on the LGPS in 2010-11 from the previous year

  • Highland Council had the highest number of councillors on the LGPS with 57

  • The English councils with the highest number of councillors enrolled in the LGPS are Leeds City Council and Dorset County Council with 56 each in 2010-11

  • The Welsh Council with the highest number of councillors on the scheme in 2010-11 is Powys County Council with 51

  • Across London there are 589 councillors on the LGPS – the highest across all English regions


Click here to read the full report including a full breakdown by council


Click here for the complete press release


Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, 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 and to tackle the growing trend of councillors joining."

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