Liverpool City Council was named and shamed in yesterday’s Sunday Times, in an article which highlighted Liverpool as a safe haven for fat-cat pay.
The article reported that 31 council employees earned in excess of £100,000 last year, with Chief Executive Colin Hilton raking in over £200,000 – more than the Prime Minister.
The Sunday Times report said: “Liverpool, rated England’s worst local authority by an official spending watchdog in 2008, paid in excess of £100,000 to 31 officials last year; Colin Hilton, its chief executive, received more than £210,000. In 2004 only seven staff received six-figure sums.”
“Hilton, 54, was one of 31 Liverpool officials who received six-figure sums — 12 months after the Audit Commission named the council the worst financially managed in England. Last year the Lib Dem-controlled council had a £62m budget shortfall and was forced to make cuts, including closing two care homes and play centres. Council tax rose by 4.8%.”
“Liverpool also attracted criticism for spending £100,000 on 200 lifesize fibreglass penguins as part of a public art project”
Speaking this morning, Liverpool Labour’s finance spokesperson, Cllr Paul Brant, said: “The figures are just astonishing. On the last count, we thought that there were 26 people earning more than £100,000. But to see that there are now 31 people earning such huge amounts is staggering.”
“Liverpool’s budget problems are well known. We’re facing a budget deficit of £120million over the next five years. The Lib Dems have already had to plug this with cuts to voluntary service grants. But while they cut funding to people who rely on it most, they are letting pay and bonuses at the other end of the scale run out of control.”
“Their priorities are misplaced, and they seem to have a lack of political will to tackle the problem of fat cat pay and the bonus culture. Liverpool Labour is committed to reviewing the pay structure of top council officials. We want to rebalance the city council in favour of the people it exists to serve.”