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RCT Council still wasting money - and local press let them get away with it

December 30, 2014 9:15 AM

Despite all the talk of cutbacks and promises form their leader that they would put front line services first the Labour Cabinet is still throwing away YOUR money like confetti.

For the second time they are consulting on nursery education cuts. They have closed libraries and day centres and cut back on youth facilities, closing paddling pools, youth centres and stopping after school E3 provision.

Yet still they are paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds in additional payments to people who accept voluntary early retirement or redundancy. Some of these payments to be made over the next six months may well go to some of the very people who have contributed to the mess the Council currently finds itself in.

LABOUR CABINET PUT SWEETENERS FOR STAFF BEFORE FRONT LINE SERVICE.

They met on 16th December and actually put off a decision to lower the amount of discretionary payments made to workers who take voluntary early retirement or voluntary redundancy. These discretionary payments are supposed to be used in exceptional circumstances only. This Council, unlike others, has been handing them out like free toys at McDonalds for years.

The report which Cabinet discussed suggested cutting the amount of discretionary payment form 50weeks salary to 30 weeks. This is a payment made on top of statutory redundancy.

The local press decided not to cover the story - for some reason it appears that the Council wasting yet more money on top of the millions that have already been reported is not worthy of mention, although a letter from Cllr Mike Powell did appear in the Echo.

So let's put a few estimated figures into the mix to give just a flavour of how much this could cost the taxpayer in the coming months. It is of course the top earners who end up gaining the most, those who have been on a significant salary for years and have a very decent pension as a result.

Take for example someone on the salary of, say, the Director of Legal Services. We'll put this at a nice round figure of £90,000 just to make calculations easier.

ON TOP OF a redundancy payment and his pension made up he would get an extra £86,538 in his pocket as a 'golden goodbye.' No bad is it? A cut from 50 to 30 weeks would have saved the best part of £35,000. Of course if they stopped these payments altogether except in exceptional circumstances then they would have saved the whole lot.

Coming down the scale a middle manager on £65,000 a year would pocket an EXTRA redundancy payment of £62,500.

This at a time when our children's education is being cut . It is disgraceful. Employees in the private sector do not enjoy these benefits so why should their money go towards providing them for public service employees - especially when the main beneficiaries have been and continue to be managers who already have a substantial redundancy package and pension.