Westminster Council’s new Labour group has voted to increase their members' pay by up to 45%, whilst burdening council tenants with an increase in rents by 7%
It took Labour 58 years to win a majority in Westminster Council, but it took them just 10 months to increase their salaries by up to 45% - and in a cost-of-living crisis.
On Wednesday evening, Labour councillors forced through an unnecessary plan to increase the pay of their own senior team.
The plan sees Labour Cabinet members receive a staggering 45% increase (and deputy cabinet members a 15% increase) from levels set by the Conservative administration in 2022.
Meanwhile, all of the council’s employees will see an average increase of just 4% – over 10 times lower than Labour’s cabinet.
Having launched their “Fairer Westminster” branding across the city, this latest move seems anything but fair. But members' allowances aren’t the only topic raising concern in their 2023 budget.
Labour Councillors have also voted to increase social housing rents by the maximum allowed 7% on council estate tenants and increase council tax by 2% - going against a clear manifesto pledge to freeze council taxes for two years. If this weren’t bad enough, the Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is also increasing Westminster residents’ bills by 9%. That's a huge increase for everyone, especially if you’re a council estate tenant in Westminster, courtesy of Labour decision-making.
Conservatives vote Against 45% pay rise - petition launched
In a fiery encounter at Wednesday's Budget Council, all members of the Conservative group voted against the increased remuneration proposals. Furthermore, any Conservative Councillors benefitting from these proposals (just one under the current scheme) have already pledged to donate any remuneration over 4% to local charities, who are helping to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis.
The Westminster Conservative group have set up a petition calling for Labour cabinet members to reject the new pay rise - or follow the Conservative example and donate their inflation-busting rise to local charities. You can sign the petition here.
Rachael Robathan, Leader of the Conservative Group in Westminster Council said
It’s an appalling misjudgement and act of greed for Labour to award themselves, with taxpayers’ money, a pay rise that’s over 10 times that of the average council employee.
This couldn’t be more shocking in a cost-of-living crisis, when most people are struggling to make ends meet.
This smacks of an unfair Westminster. We urge as many people as possible to sign our petition to get this decision reversed.