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Tgwu

Tgwu

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Join date : 2011-12-11
Location : Central Park (most days)

      Councillors  pension scheme   Empty
PostSubject: Councillors pension scheme          Councillors  pension scheme   EmptySat Mar 15, 2014 7:05 am

Deserves it own thread was mention in another

Goverment to scrap  pension scheme

A GENEROUS pension scheme for city councillors has been described as “a dreadful scam”.

Since 2003 councillors have been allowed to join the local government final salary pension scheme.

The Herald learned this week that only 18 out of 57 Plymouth councillors have signed up to the career average scheme.

They pay 6per cent of their earnings into the pension pot.

But taxpayers contribute a whopping 19.4per cent.

And from April that will rise to 20.1per cent.

This week some councillors condemned the Government’s decision to scrap their pensions.

Under changes announced on Monday, from April no more councillors will be able to join the scheme.

Those who have already joined will cease to receive contributions from the next time they face re-election.

As reported in The Herald, Plymouth council leader Tudor Evans said the change was unjust, incorrect and discriminatory.

Cllr Ian Bowyer, the Conservative group leader on the council, said: “The Government is being unduly harsh on people who give many years of service to their local communities.”

Paul Jarvis, Labour councillor for Eggbuckland, said he gave up a well-paid job to become a councillor.

But a number of councillors contacted The Herald to welcome the scrapping of the pension scheme.

Cllr Richard Ball, Conservative councillor for Compton, said the Blair Government, which introduced the pensions in 2003, was trying to professionalise local politics.

“The pension is one of those dreadful scams the Labour Government got up to.”

Cllr Ball said he had not signed up to the scheme.

“It was set up before I became a councillor, and when I learned about it I was quite shocked.

He said the basic allowance of £10,044.84 was to cover expenses, and was not a pensionable salary.

Cllr Ball rejected claims that a lack of a pension would stop people becoming councillors.

“It hasn’t kept young people out in the past,” he said. He pointed to Conservatives like Cllr Patrick Nicholson (Plympton St Mary) and Cllr Martin Leaves (Peverell) who went into politics in their teens.

“What it stops is the professional councillor who does nothing else in their life.

“I don’t like this professionalisation of our councillors. I would like them to have another string to their bow,” he said.

Councillors contribute to the pension scheme out of their basic allowance, which in Plymouth is £10,044.84 a year.

Committee chairs and other office-holders get special responsibility allowance.

The leader of the council gets a total of £40,176.60.

A council spokeswoman said: “Councillors pay at a fixed rate of 6per cent of their pay (basic plus special responsibility allowances).

“The council pays at 19.4per cent of their pay. This is moving to 20.1per cent from April.

“This is the same rate as employees.

“These arrangements remain for the members in the scheme on March 31, 2014 and until the end of their term of office in 2014, 2015 or 2016, whichever applies.

“Currently there are 18 councillors in the career average scheme.”

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hairy j

hairy j

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Join date : 2014-03-05

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PostSubject: Re: Councillors pension scheme          Councillors  pension scheme   EmptySat Mar 15, 2014 8:25 am

18 out of 57 is a very small amount affected. It's a non-story in my view and it's typical of the Herald to focus, again, on negative 'news'. There's a thin line between 'being fair' and not being seen to exploit public money and attracting the right people to perform these roles.
Local Cllrs are often characterised as being 'out of their depth' but how do we, as a society, attract those who aren't 'out of their depth' if the financial support (not reward) is not there?
If Cllr roles were not paid, the only people that could perform the role would be wealthy people who could live without the need to be paid to be a Cllr - that wouldn't be representative of the electorate.
There's 57 in Plymouth. For me, that's too many. Party systems are in place as people cannot campaign etc. without funding from Labour/Tory. If we had less Cllrs and increased their allowances/wages/salary, we'd attract more interest from a wider demographic and we could fund some kind of scheme to allow prospective candidates to pay for a little bit of campaigning.
Personally, I'd like to see less focus on National politics in Local settings and a wider prospective demographic.
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HD

HD

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PostSubject: Re: Councillors pension scheme          Councillors  pension scheme   EmptySat Mar 15, 2014 8:36 am

You are Tudor Evans and I claim my £5
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hairy j

hairy j

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PostSubject: Re: Councillors pension scheme          Councillors  pension scheme   EmptySat Mar 15, 2014 8:52 am

I don't think they should get pensions as employees as they aren't employees but you can't expect people to perform the role for nothing. You can't live on the basic allowance - it's impossible. Look at the front bench in Parliament - all of them are millionaires. A case in point. The reason Cameron can be Prime Minister is due to his wealth. Nobody would run a country for the pay he gets.
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PostSubject: Re: Councillors pension scheme          Councillors  pension scheme   EmptySat Mar 15, 2014 9:19 am

I don't buy into this idea that paying more money neccessarily gets you a better candidate, in the world of nuclear science then yes obviously, but to get decisions made on school crossings and which toilets are to be closed this year I think that there are an awful lot of people in Plymouth who would happily take a ten G part time job.
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hairy j

hairy j

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PostSubject: Re: Councillors pension scheme          Councillors  pension scheme   EmptySat Mar 15, 2014 9:26 am

They do a bit more than that Iggy - and if they don't, they should be at least competent enough to do a lot more. Increasing 'pay' simply increases the number of potential candidates. People tend to have a simplistic view of what they do.

It should be a full time vocation. If it isn't financially possible to commit to that, what is the alternative? The alternative is a council full of wealthy people who represent themselves. In Plymouth, given our social demographic, that's not a healthy alternative.
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