Critics dismissed “absolutely stupid” report by right-wing TaxPayers Alliance claiming almost 29,000 local authority workers earned more than £50,000 a year

Tim Lezard

GMB logoPublic sector unions have dismissed as “absolutely stupid” a report by the TaxPayers Alliance claiming almost 29,000 local authority workers in England earned more than £50,000 a year.

The TPA claims this amounts to £1.9bn or 7.5% of Council Tax income.

Critics say the right-wing pressure group has mistaken pay for the cost of redundancy settlements for 250,000 local council workers laid off in 2011 – 2012.

GMB national secretary Brian Strutton said “This is another made-up diatribe masquerading as fact just to have a go at the public sector.

“It is absolutely stupid to count redundancy payments as if they were salary and try to claim this is somehow evidence of unnecessarily high pay.

“Local government has laid off 250,000 workers over the past two years. If you count their pay and redundancy settlement together as they have done is a basic error and leads to a made up misleading assumption.

“When you wrongly add them together it is no surprise at all that many of these come to more than £50,000. If anything, you might expect more given the massive levels of redundancies we have seen.”

Officials point out that the TPA admits the overall cost of local government salaries in England has actually fallen by 12% in the period covered in the report.

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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