The Government is meant to be making spending cuts. Of course we all know that the wicked Tories are doing no such thing, spending is going up. But just for a minute let us humour Call Me Dave and pretend that MPs realise that Bankrupt Britain is going bust and that Government spending has to be cut back. So what news do we have today? MP’s reckon that local councillors should get more money for their allowances. Hell’s teeth. Labour MP Clive Betts things that compensation needs to be “appropriate.” At a number of levels this is obscene.
Checking out the website of Real Man Pizza’s local council ( Camden) I see that in the year to April 2011 ( the last available data) its local councillors cost local residents £807,473.47. That works out at c£14,000 each. Bear in mind this is very much a part time job for most ( those who have no special responsibilities). Those who do have such responsibilities were trousering well over £23,000 with one lucky fellow picking up £36,000.
It is not like there is ever a shortage of candidates for council. In these austere times you might ask
a) Does Camden need 57 councillors. How about it cuts back to 19 and if Betts wants to hand out a 20% pay rise to these folks I will not argue
b) What is the point of having Camden Council at all. Many local authorities are already sharing the operation of certain local services. Why not go one step further and merge Islington and Camden councils into one and then they can get rid of even more councillors while leaving the operation of council based paedophile rings ( Islington’s forte) unaffected?
c) Is there any evidence at all that paying more will attract a higher calibre of councillor? My guess is it just means even more money for the political classes to trough.
There is a final point which is worth noting and that is that Labour councillors are obliged under party rules to give a good percentage of what they claim to er….the Labour Party. I think that whilst other parties do not maker that compulsory it is expected. So in effect we are already subsidising political parties with taxpayers cash. What MP Betts wishes to see is more of that. Frankly this goes on across the political spectrum. I remember looking at the expenses claims of Sir George Young MP (wicked step uncle George)who got the taxpayer to pay for hiring rooms so he could hold constituency surgeries. And who did he hire rooms from? Er…the local Conservative Association. They all do it.
I do not see why any taxpayer cash should go to any political party. It is a subsidy for incumbents which is wrong. Less money for political parties means a reversal of the ever increasing cost of political campaigns. Good news. Fewer daft billboards, etc. See if, as a taxpayer, I care. Do you?
As for Betts etc. We all know that cuts have to be made. So where would he cut? Shall we deprive deprive our soldiers in Afghanistan of a few more pieces of body armour so that we can give more cash to ninth rate local busy bodies and the Labour Party. Or perhaps Betts would rather shut down the odd hospital. Or maybe he would just add even more to the national debt. A deferred liability for the grateful taxpayer.
Clive Betts you are a tosser. No wonder the world holds MPs in utter contempt.