The soaring pay cheques of local government officials despite the recession have become a major debating point in the general election campaign – and North Yorkshire has now found itself on a “list of shame” drawn up in a nationwide survey of council pay.
In a “rich list” of town and county hall pay, the Taxpayers’ Alliance says that a record 1,250 local government staff were paid over £100,000 a year in 2008/09 and many of them had received 5% rises - £100 a week -despite the recession.
Of these, 31 earned more than the Prime Minister during a year in which millions of employees in the private sector faced pay freezes, being put on part-time working or, in the worst case scenario, ended up on the dole queue.
John O'Connell, Policy Analyst at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"Town Hall bosses have had a very good recession at taxpayers' expense. More of them than ever are earning massive amounts, and they even enjoyed a healthy pay rise while everyone else was suffering pay freezes, cuts or redundancies. It is unfair that these public servants have been having a whale of a time while the ordinary taxpayers who fund their generous deals have been struggling to survive the recession. Now that most councils are in financial trouble, these senior managers must take serious pay cuts to help make ends meet."
Here in the Yorkshire Dales, whilst North Yorkshire County Council features on the list Craven District Council does not – despite struggling to regain tax payer confidence over a previous financial mismanagement scandal involving a “mystery” £2 million loan.
For more on the Town Hall Rich List visit www.taxpayersalliance.com