South Tyneside council tax payers fear paying more if public sector pay cap is scrapped

Coun Ed Malcolm
Coun Ed Malcolm

Council bosses in South Tyneside who have welcomed the scrapping of the seven-year public sector pay cap from next year have fallen foul of council tax payers in the borough.

The announcement from Downing Street saying ministers would be given “flexibility” to breach the long-standing limit of 1 per cent on rises was welcomed by Coun Ed Malcolm, lead member for resources and innovation at South Tyneside Council, who said the authority wants to see fair pay for staff and believes pay caps are unfair.

South Shields Town Hall

South Shields Town Hall

He said, however, the local authority will need extra funding to meet any wage rises.

He said: “We welcome any lifting of a pay cap. However, we need to recognise that if they are going to lift it then we need additional funding. My fear is the Government will say no and we will have to meet any provision for that, which in the current economic climate will prove difficult.”

His comment did not, however, go down well with some readers who took to our Facebook page to make their feelings known.

Eileen Drummond wrote: “They can always find the money for themselves.

“South Shields is a disgrace. How many more times does the sea front want changing instead spending money in the town.”

Donna Proudlock has a more direct way of finding any axtra cash needed.

She said “Just cap councillors wages and expenses. That should sort it.”

Sue Bloomfield is thinking along the same lines.

She wrote: “They could start by reducing the number of councillors. One per area maximum.”

Anthony Clark added “I see a council tax rise on the way - and we know who’s going to get the blame.”

Peter Watt wrote: “How long before we hear the words ‘it’s the Tories not us.”