New research by the TaxPayers' Alliance reveals that £699 million has been paid out to local councillors in allowances over the last three years. In an era of increasing pressure on local authority resources, it is essential that every penny is spent wisely and above inflation rises in payments to councillors are difficult to justify.
Key findings of the research:
- A total of £699 million was paid out in allowances between 2012-13 and 2014-15
- At least 238 councils raised the basic allowance and 208 councils raised the total bill for allowances and expenses between 2012-13 and 2014-15
- If every council had paid the median value of allowances in each type of authority, at least £113 million would have been saved
- The largest percentage increase in the rate of the basic allowance between 2012-13 and 2014-15 was 83 per cent in Waverley Council: £2,454 to £4,501
- In 2014-15, the highest basic allowance was paid by Moray Council: £16,722
- In 2014-15, the highest special responsibility allowance was paid by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea: £54,769
Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"Taxpayers will be shocked to discover the rate at which councillors' allowances have risen over the last three years, despite local authorities pleading poverty and in many cases raising Council Tax or cutting services.
"It goes to show that not every council has prioritised finding savings or cutting taxes over awarding local politicians above inflation allowances. With the nation's finances yet to be fixed, councillors across the country will continue to have to make difficult decisions. In order for them to have the moral authority to carry out that very important job, councillors must show restraint when it comes to their own taxpayer-funded allowances and ease the burden on hard-pressed families."
TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)