Bell Across the Pond? Uproar in England over Massive Compensation Packages for Local Officials
The scandal in the city of Bell several years ago isn’t the only example of a major lack of respect for the public purse. In what might be described as “Bell across the pond,” the newspaper the Telegraph is shining a light on huge government payouts for local government officials in England. In what has been described as “eye-watering" compensation packages, the newspaper found that councils have given pay-offs of £100,000 or more to 135 officials leaving their jobs in the past year. Some local officials received compensation packages of up to £420,000.
As was the case in Bell when the LA Times revealed the compensation of former City Manager Robert Rizzo, anger is also palpable in England over the fact that executives have received six-figure sums on top of their salaries and pension contributions when they left their post.
The Telegraph reports: “Birmingham city council was among the most generous, giving pay-offs of between £100,000 and £150,000 to 27 staff. Newcastle city council gave 12 six-figure golden goodbyes and Gateshead handed out nine. Dorset county council gave a total of £1.03 million to seven executives, whose pay-offs ranged from £100,000 to £242,000. South Gloucestershire gave six-figure golden goodbyes to eight staff, and Middlesbrough gave six-figure pay-offs to five executives.”
Brandon Lewis, the local government minister, said it was time to put a stop to the “golden goodbye gravy train.” As more people read about the pay-outs, they may be even more upset when they learn that 22.4 per cent of local authorities plan on increasing council taxes. Check out the full story here.