48 councillors voted in support of the hike, 9 abstained and 13 voted against –including Conservatives who voted against their own party. This makes KCC councillors the highest paid councillors in the country.
It can be confirmed that the 15% increase is a “Global Increase”, across all allowances dispensed by KCC to elected members(see below). This in effect means that their basic allowance will rise from £12,805 to £14,725. Mr Carter (pictured far left) Leader of Kent County Council, special responsibility allowance will rise from £42,109 to £48,425. This means that all allowances (the above not being all the allowances members can claim) will rise above the £2 million mark for the first time ever, in the financial year 17/18.
Also KCC state at pg 37 of the Draft Statement of Accounts states that Cllrs received £1,750 million in allowances and expenses for the year 16/17.
Yet in paperwork handed to our public face by Mr Benjamin Watts KCC ‘s General Counsel the final total, Gross figure for all allowances and expenses was £1,883 million and Net £1,877 million, so a discrepancy of £127,000. That can be explained thus:
The note in the accounts is to disclose what KCC have actually paid members. KCC also pays NI Employers contributions of £132,698. So the £1,750,000 paid to members (as per page 37 above) plusthe £133K NI, gets us to the £1,883,075 (Gross) below. And the difference between the gross and net figure of £6K is recoverable VAT.
We have but one question then. Are retired Cllrs paying NI contributions, when it is not necessary? Our maths would seem to suggest they maybe.
Do the bean counters at KCC have issues with adding up? No.
So while public sector staff, such as KCC employees languish on a 1% annual pay rise, the likes of Mr Carter, who we understand is also paying into a Local Government Pension plan, will be netting thousands of pounds more than firemen, policemen, teachers, nurses and doctors.
Finally, there are many elected Cllrs who have stated they will not take the rise, but we are sure that in a few months time, after the furore has died down, we’ll see who has and who hasn’t taken the rise.
The Shepwayvox Team