MORAY COUNCIL HAS moved to dispel a claim made by the campaign group Taxpayers’ Alliance following their report that the regions elected members were “the highest paid in Britain”.
The claim came in a press release published by the Alliance that gave figures for Moray that claimed councillors were paid the highest basic allowance of any local authority in the country, £16,722.
However, the local authority has moved to point out that Moray councillors received exactly the same basic allowance last year as every councillor in Scotland, £16,560.
In a statement published on Monday, a Moray Council spokesman said: “The basic allowance for councillors is covered by legislation and applies to all Scottish local authorities. Councils are not able to vary this level of remuneration upwards. However, we think we know where the Taxpayers’ Alliance got it wrong.
“The basic pay for councillors in the financial year 2012-13 was £16,234. As with all other local authorities, there was a 1% pay award for the following two years, bring the basic allowance to £16,396 for 2013-14 and to £16,560 for 2014-15.
“The pay award was not implemented until 2014-15, however – therefore the basic allowance was reported as £16,560 plus the backdated pay award for 2013-14, giving a total for 2014-15 of £16,722.
“But in fact the basic allowance for Moray councillors in 2014-15 was £16,560, the same as it was for all councillors elsewhere in Scotland.
“Before making this claim that councillors in Moray have the highest level of allowances in the UK, it would have been a good idea to check.
“It’s fortunate for the TPA that some reporters have taken this basic step the get facts right before publishing a damaging claim.”