After a huge row at the meeting of the Full Council at Luton Town Hall on Tuesday evening (20th January) the Labour majority forced through an 87.5% rise in pay for the Council Leader and a 46% increase for her nine elite executive members. Other Councillors will see a 25% increase under the new scheme.
“As Luton residents face the hardest fight to stay solvent that many of them have ever seen the Labour Council expects struggling families to put their hands in their pockets and stump up for an 87% pay increase,” said Liberal Democrat leader David Franks.
“Right now in Luton the numbers of adults living on Job Seekers Allowance is going up at the rate of 82 a month. Three Luton families every week are losing their homes through repossession because they are unable to keep up with their mortgage payments.”
“Those lucky enough to have kept their jobs – so far – will know they can forget about the average wage supposedly now being around £25,000 a year. According to the government’s Office of National Statistics Luton wages are lower than the average for the UK, lower than the average for the East of England and £5,000 a year below the average for Bedfordshire.”
“There is probably never a good time to increase Councillors pay, but surely there can never be a worse time to do it than now as the financial recession hits more and more of the very residents who will have to pay for it. And never before have we heard such lame excuses for such massive pay rises.”