A report commissioned by the Scottish Government into remuneration for local authority councillors has recommended an increase of 24%, or £5.5m, to the current remuneration budget.
The report also recommends an increase to councillor’s basic salary of 16.5%. So, for example, Cllr Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow Council, would see an increase in his basic allowance from £16,234 to £18,916. Plus his leader's allowance would rise from £48,704 to £63,053. He has attacked the SNP Government for a "tawdry" budget cut of 3.6% (and found the only possible saving was switching to fortnightly bin collections.) Will he be as outspoken in attacking the proposed increase in his allowances? By the way he also picks up £8,466 a year for his onerous duties as "Chair" of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.
The Scottish Conservatives are against the proposal. Derek Brownlee MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Sustainable Growth, said:
“As the public sector across Scotland deals with the consequences of Labour wrecking the public finances and a pay freeze in place to protect jobs, now is the wrong time to increase the cost of politics.
“If councillors want an increase in their pay they should first look at reducing councillor numbers or other measures which reduce the cost of local politics.”