The Local Government Association Labour Group have issued a disgraceful defence of taxpayer funded gold-plated pensions to councillors. This is in response to the Government's consultation on proposals to scrap them.
Labour's LGA Group are keen to point out their stance is representative. They say they "wrote to all Labour Councillors and the response from our members was a clear support of option 3." This is that there should be "no change" in Council Taxpayers subsidising councillor pensions.
The Group then added:
Members requested the removal of the phrase “taxpayer-funded” which implies that councillors do not contribute towards their pension.
That comment betrays an astonishing mentality of entitlement. They feel that because councillors contribute something to their own pension schemes the hefty top up from the taxpayer should not be mentioned.
The Labour Group followed this with a demand that the Local Government Association – which is funded by the Council Taxpayer via membership subscriptions paid by councils – should finance a legal challenge to the Government.
So Labour's position is not just to defend spending on councillors pensions but to spend still more Council Taxpayers money on lawyers.
They think a Judicial Review might be worth a punt:
“The prospects of success in a judicial review depend on the consultation response, the way in which the Minister effects the changes and the detailed provisions of the regulations brought forward. If the
Minister fails to give due regard to the outcome of the consultation, then there may be recourse to judicial review."
Then there is another old favourite the Equalities Act 2012:
The Consultation makes no real reference to previous government policy, which took positive action to encourage more high quality councillors from a greater diversity of backgrounds. Many serving councillors made important choices based on the expectation this created, and access to the LGPS will have been a factor. Given that the principle of “legitimate expectations” is embedded in European legal decisions, the LGA intends to pursue this avenue further if necessary.
Judicial Reviews seldom succeed but offer the Left away of disrupting or delaying policies being brought in which they don't like – invariably at taxpayer's expense. If they lose at the ballot box then they try a Judicial Review.
For the LGA to indulge in this legal agitprop would be unacceptable. I hope that should they do so every Conservative council will serve notice to quit.