North Lanarkshire Council rubbish claims over officials’ pay

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North Lanarkshire Council has rubbished claims by the Taxpayers’ Alliance regarding pay received by its senior officials.

The pressure group claimed North Lanarkshire had 28 staff earning more than £100,000 – more than any other Scottish council.

It also claimed the highest earner received £272,500 – more than double the salary of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – in 2017-2018.

However, the council says the information presented by the Taxpayers’ Alliance is inaccurate.

A spokesperson said: “As is often the case, the Taxpayers’ Alliance report does not reflect the true picture. The figures used clearly include staff leaving the organisation, who have paid into a pension scheme throughout their working lives and who are entitled to pension payments. These payments are not set by the council.

“These figures include another phase of changes to the council’s management structure, comprising the reduction of three senior officers, which delivers £413,000 in savings every year.

“In addition, these figures do not set in context the strategic capacity required to oversee around £1 billion of public money delivering services to 340,000 residents.”

When the report from the Taxpayers’ Alliance was published, its chief executive John O’Connell said: “Disappointingly, many local authorities are responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with staggering pay-outs for those leaving their jobs.

“There are talented people in the public sector, who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”

Neil McGrory - Local Democracy Reporting Service