Senior staff at Manchester council have been awarded pay rises of up to 60% while blaming the Tories for cuts in the city. While other staff see a standard 1% increase, council chiefs such as the “Head of Children and Families” will be receiving another £30,358 on top of their £50,442 salary – rising to £80,800 overall. Five staff are getting pay bumps of up to 12.5% to £125,000. In all, the pay rises for council fat cats will cost Manchester taxpayers £112,895. Richard Leese, who has now led Manchester’s Labour council for 20 years, moaned about t’cuts last year, claiming “I think it’s going to hit the poorest people in our country and it’s bad news for Manchester.” Austerity? What austerity? Wonder what wannabe Manchester mayor Andy Burnham thinks…
UPDATE: John Leech, former LibDem MP in Manchester, comments:
“These increases are frankly disgusting. The council is now clutching at straws because they’ve been caught dishing out indefensible pay rises. They are now trying to justify these enormous pay rises at a time when other members of staff are getting just 1 per cent, and residents are being told that services have to be cut.”
Stinging line from the new Work and Pensions Secretary as he announces the government has “no plans” to make no further welfare cuts:
“A compassionate and fair welfare system should not just be about numbers. Behind every statistic there is a human being. Perhaps sometimes in government we forget that.”
Victory for IDS, painful defeat for Osborne…
The most explosive 20 minutes of political television this year so far:
“They are losing sight of the direction of travel they should be in. It is in danger of drifting in a direction that divides society rather than unites it, and that I think is unfair.”
“That is deeply unfair, and that unfairness is damaging to the government, it’s damaging to the party and it’s damaging to the public.”
“It looks like we see benefits as a pot of money to cut because they don’t vote for us.”
“There needs to be a greater, collegiate sense on how decisions are made. This is not the way to do government.”
“This is not some secondary attempt to attack the prime minister or about Europe. It is nothing to do with that at all – if I wanted to do that I would have been clear. I have never, ever hidden my views about something and I’m not doing it now. I am genuinely, genuinely concerned.”
These quotes will hang around Osborne’s neck as long as he retains ambitions to be PM…
Guardian Media Group chief executive David Pemsel emails staff:
Given that over half our current costs are people, we propose to reduce our UK headcount by around 250 people. While protecting journalism remains our priority, we anticipate the impact will be spread across all departments, including editorial. We hope to achieve the target reductions through voluntary redundancy. If we do not achieve the reductions we are targeting through voluntary means, we will consider whether voluntary redundancies are necessary.
Around 100 editorial redundancies expected. Will Seumas Milne be one of them?
UPDATE: The Midland Goods Shed is also dead. 20% cuts across the board mean that
crazy idea “new space for debate, culture and curiosity” is no more. Thankfully…
Hidden away towards the back of the Autumn Statement was the section on “Reducing the cost of politics”, which consists of a modest 19% reduction in Short money allocations. This means the taxpayer-funded wedge to which opposition parties are entitled will be cut by millions. Good news for the taxpayer, bad news for the already massively in debt Labour Party.
Below is the sum each party was previously due to receive in each year of this parliament. In brackets is what a 19% cut would potentially look like:
Labour: £6.2 million (£1,178,000 CUT)
SNP: £1.2 million (£228,000 CUT)
UKIP: £650,000 (£123,500 CUT)
LibDems: £540,000 (£102,600 CUT)
Greens: £212,000 (£40,280 CUT)
A handy benefit of being a Chancellor with an eye on the next election is you can severely wound your opponents where it hurts: in the pocket…
As Guido revealed in this week’s Sun on Sunday:
“The BBC has announced 1,000 jobs are to go as part of a £150 million round of cuts. These job losses would cover just £50 million of the sum, however, leaving another £100 million awaiting Aunty’s axe.
Guido hears that the BBC’s little-watched 24-hour News Channel is in the firing line, with plans afoot to shift the operation online and stop broadcasting on telly. BBC bosses are waiting until this week’s budget before a final decision.”
A story which caused a certain degree of scepticism from the impeccably dis-connected Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:
— Chris Bryant MP (@RhonddaBryant) July 5, 2015
That would be our double-sourced drivel from senior BBC sources. 48 hours later, Media Guardian confirms Guido’s Sun exclusive:
“The BBC is considering making its news channel online only following a similar cost-cutting move for its BBC3 TV channel, it has emerged.
Work had already started on assessing the impact of making the news channel online only before the government unveiled a surprise licence fee settlement on Monday… A final decision about the channel has yet to be made.”
As Guido explained, the Beeb has a £100 million spending black hole to fill. Media Guardian reports the News Channel’s overall costs are just over £100 million:
“In the last BBC annual report, it said the channel’s production costs were £26.8m, while its newsgathering costs were £21.2m. In addition, the news channel spent £48.7m on content, £8m on distribution and £9.5m on infrastructure/support in 2013/14 and taking it online only would prove cheaper for the BBC, which is looking to make savings.”
If Chris needs any further help with his brief, he knows where to come…
UPDATE: The Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Bryant tweets:
— Chris Bryant MP (@RhonddaBryant) July 7, 2015