The Government have scrapped gold plated, taxpayer subsidised pensions for councillors. From this month councillors are no longer eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme
But Ed Miliband has pledged that a Labour Government would reinstate councillors pensions.
That is the implication of this this EDM which he has signed:
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Local Government Pension Scheme (Transitional Provisions, Savings and Amendment) Regulations 2014 (S.I., No 525) dated 5 March 2014, a copy of which was laid before this House on 10 March, be annulled.
The is the scheme was which was introduced by Labour – when Jo Moore notoriously suggested announcing it on September 11th 2001 – as it was “a good day to bury bad news.”
Reintroducing gold plated councillor pensions will cost taxpayers another £7 million a year. So it is yet another unfunded Labour spending pledge. However – as I have argued before – far more serious is the mentality giving councillors these pensions encourages.
Are councillors fundamentally council staff there to defend the interest of the bureaucracy into which they allow themselves to be comfortably absorbed? Or are they guardians of the residents they represent?
So it is not just a matter of £7 million. It is about having councillors with the right motives and a principled belief in achieving value for money.
No doiubt there has been some lobbying from Labour councillors. I fear that Eric Pickles has faced some from Conservative councillors with the same sense of entitlement. the diffference is that Mr Miliband has buckled. Yet again Mr Miliband has proven himself too weak to stand up to vested interests.