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Labour shows contempt for public with its 52pc salary hike

PUBLISHED: 01:37 07 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:09 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, I SAT in the gallery at Wednesday's Tower Hamlets Council meeting when the annual budget and council tax were set, watching Labour show contempt for the people they are meant to serve. They voted to increase Special Responsibility Allowance' for Labour's Deputy Mayor at 52 per cent—we would all like a salary increase like that!

Dear Ed,

I SAT in the gallery at Wednesday’s meeting of Tower Hamlets Council when the annual budget and council tax were set, watching Labour members show their contempt for the people they are meant to serve.

They voted to increase the so-called Special Responsibility Allowance’ for Labour’s Deputy Mayor.

Not only is this increase more than half as much again at 52 per cent—we would all like a salary increase like that—but this is on top of the money Ahmed Omer already receives for being a councillor!

Just to round this off, they rubbed salt in the wound by backdating the salary to May last year!

The council papers presented by Labour suggested the pay hike was necessary “to bring it in line” with the Mayor’s increase last year. They were very vague about what the Mayor’s deputy does on a day-to-day basis—we can guess it is extremely little.

Cllr Omer now receives more money than many people do for a full time job, at a time when we are facing pay squeezes and reduced working hours.

The Tory Opposition’s detailed alternative budget proposals, on the other hand, found some ingenious savings. They are not proposing cuts to front line services, but things like the council’s propaganda newspaper, its publicity office, political advisers and all the Town Hall red tape.

While Gordon Brown rearranges the deckchairs on the Titanic, it seems the Tower Hamlets Labour lot are still having a ball.

Philip Whittington

Caravel Close, Poplar

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