cutting Councillor's allowances which to me is just petty electioneering.
I quite agree, on the Tory bit of propaganda that came thru our door we had Mr Rydings saying he'll cut councillors allowances, while he lives at home with Mummy and Daddy!
Whilst that's true Andy, nobody should hold that fact against him.
I think reducing the allowances for councillors does have a danger of making the office of councillor only available for those who can afford to incur expenses without being reimbursed. That said, I don't really want a career councillor, the point of them is they have an understanding of the normal council taxpayer. I think the answer is less councillors and pay them a fair remuneration for their time. What worries me is how so many claim right up to their allowance, that seems fishy.
The way Politicians in this country are financed is an absolute joke. Because it is all done via expenses and allowances and what have you, even the most straight laced, up-tight. by the book person is made to look dodgy when it is revealed that they (legitimately) claimed X tens of thousands of pounds in allowances and expenses.
The Parliamentary expenses scandal is a case in point. Whilst a big ho-ha was made over it in the media, when it came down to it, they had all been acting within the rules except for 4, who were duly charged with Fraud. Sure, many of them paid back the more ridiculous sounding claims, but even the Duck House guy, and the Moating Cleaning guy had been acting within the rules that were laid down for them. And to be honest, I can't really fault them for taking advantage.
It'll never happen, because it's Turkey's voting for Christmas, but allowances and expenses should be scrapped for all politicians in almost all cases, and instead these items should just be paid for directly by the government body they represent. So, for example, MPs travel expenses, Parliament buys every MP/Peer a Rail season ticket, cheaper for the tax payer all round (given that as they're buying over 1000 they should be able to get a bulk buy deal). MPs staffing, central government hires 650 constituency secretaries, and centrally rents 650 constituency offices. It's ridiculous that MPs have to hire/rent, and then claims expenses for their work space and their staff (these are the two biggest items that cause MPs expenses each year to look so stupidly large). And so on and so forth.
Politicians should be paid a flat wage, expected to turn up to all meetings/votes/duties (like the rest of us in any other job), and only be abe to/have to, claim legitimate out of pocket expenses, and not have to claim for things that really should be provided for them by their employer, ie Local/Central Government.