During the midst of the worst cost of living crisis in a generation TDC Labour and some Green Party councillors have, like pigs with their snouts in the taxpayer funded trough, voted to award themselves a staggering 10% increase to their annual allowances.
This means that a back bench councillor with no special responsibilities who currently receives a basic allowance £4,570 a year will now get £5,027 a year, an increase of £457 a year.
A cabinet member who currently receives a special responsibility allowance of £7,990 a year will now get £8,800 a year, an increase of £900 year plus the £457 a year increase in their basic allowance, giving a total increase of £1357 a year.
Top of the councillor high earners league, Deputy Council Leader Helen Whitehead sees her special responsibility allowance rise from £10,776 to £11,900 an increase of £1,134, plus the £457 a year increase in her basic allowance, giving a total increase of £1,591 a year.
Last but not least Council Leader “Raging” Rick Everitt sees his special responsibility allowance increasing from £18,082 to £19,900 an increase of £1,818 a year plus the £457 a year increase in his basic allowance, giving a total annual increase of £2,275.
It may be true that Thanet Councillors have not increased their allowances in over a decade, but this is no justification to do so now.
Thanet is the one of the most deprived council areas in the country where thousands of people are struggling hard to pay for their housing, energy and food bills. Many are in receipt of benefits or in low paid work which over the past decade have not been increased, or increased very little and which in any case have been massively devalued by inflation whilst the cost of living has spiralled.
For councillors to selfishly vote to pay themselves an extra 10% from the taxpayer funded public purse, when many of their constituents are suffering like never before is sickeningly obscene, and shows just how out of touch these so called politicians are with the real world.
What makes this greedy cash grab all the more despicable is that it was voted through by a coalition of Labour and Green Party councillors who, unlike many of their constituents, enjoy a comfortable standard of living.
As a socialist and environmentalist I would have expected councillors from these parties to have realized that by voting to award themselves a 10% allowances increase, they were hypocritically defecating upon the social conscience these money grabbing chancers falsely claim to have.
It would be true, but utterly astonishing, to say that in the Alice in Wonderland world that is Thanet politics it was the Tory and Independent councillors who, in this case at least, have ziezed the high ground, by voting against the morally corrupt money grabbing councillors of the Labour and Green party.
One final insult to the public is that when it came to the vote about paying themselves the 10% increase, the spinless councillors of the Labour and Green Party used their majority to oppose a recorded vote by name. Why?
So each cowardly councillor could escape democratic accountability for making this self-enriching decision, whilst tens of thousands of Thanet folk desperately fear the cost of the oncoming winter.
I will be following up this article with a part2 which looks at the ridiculous, and frankly piss taking, excuses these pathetic political prats used to justify their shameless money grabbing antics.
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