Do Blaenau Gwent councillors pay tax and National Insurance on their salaries?
A SENIOR Blaenau Gwent councillor wants residents to know that council members don’t receive the “full whack” of their salaries, but pay tax and National Insurance.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent’s Democratic Services committee on Thursday, July 13 councillors discussed a report on the Schedule of Remuneration for councillors during this financial year.
Publishing the document is a legal requirement and shows what the council is going to pay councillors as well as lay people who are co-opted onto various committees.
Pay is a thorny issue for county borough councillors.
Many have expressed frustration over the last couple of years that the decisions of the Independent Panel for Remuneration in Wales (IRPW) to increase councillors are beyond their powers to regulate – and look bad during a time of financial crisis.
This year the IRPW agreed that the basic salary will go up by 4.76 per cent, which equates to £800 for the 2023/24 financial year.
This will take councillors basic pay up to £17,600.
Increases would also be made to the salary of the leader, deputy leader and cabinet members on top of the basic rise and this is to reflect the levels of extra responsibility they have.
Resources chief officer, Rhian Hayden said: “The schedule includes a declaration of whether we have included a statement of basic responsibilities for a councillor, role descriptions of senior salary office holders and that a record is kept of councillor attendance, all those are in place.”
“The schedule also explains the arrangements for the payments of salary allowances and fees and includes the statement of allowable expenses together with detail of duties for which they may be claimed.
To comply with legal deadlines the schedule needs to be published by the end of the month.
Cllr Wayne Hodgins said: “From time to time people think in the constituency that this is tax free – and that we get the full whack that is listed.
“Obviously this isn’t true as we get taxed and pay National Insurance on it and for people who have secondary employment is does also impacts on that.”
He believed that it would be “useful to add” into the schedule that tax and national insurance is paid on the councillor’s salary.
Ms Hayden told Cllr Hodgins that that Paragraph 6.3 of the schedule already confirms that: “All payments are subject to the appropriate tax and National Insurance deductions.”
Councillors agreed to publish the schedule, and this is expected to be ratified at a meeting of the council next Thursday, July 20.
By BBC LDRS
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