The two cabinet members with primary responsibility for local government cuts have some of the highest numbers of “fat cats”on their own Tory-dominated councils. Chancellor George Osborne and local government secretary Eric Pickles have slammed local authorities over excessive pay packets — but perhaps they should be looking a bit closer to home.
While Eric Pickles demanded that councils vet all salaries over £100,000 and asked officials how they could “look themselves in the mirror each morning”, his own Essex County Council has 36 such officers — the second highest in the UK.
And George Osborne’s Cheshire West and Chester council is arguably worse. With 27 employees earning over £100,000,the authority ranks at number six for pay of top staff — on par with London boroughs and whole cities despite being a sleepy unitary authority with borough status. Self-described“dynamic and inspirational” Chief executive Steve Robinson trousered £266,000 in 2011/12 — the third highest council pay packet in the country.
Asked by John Humphrys “Are you the sort of man that does weep occasionally?”, Osborne joked:
“Occasionally I get a tear in my eye, sometimes when I listen to the Today Programme headlines”
Critics derided the chancellor for crying during the funeral of Thatcher (VIDEO HERE) — someone he admits he hardly knew – having shown a lack of compassion over the impact of austerity on ordinary people.
He may not be laughing at 9:30am when public sector borrowing figures come out.
Massive disabled bays clearly wider than the others
Osborne bay marked in yellow — all others in white
Just four disabled spaces in park for 234 vehicles
With the Daily Mirror publishing photos of George Osborne using a disabled parking space, evidence gathered by Political Scrapbook brings into doubt his excuse that he was ‘unaware’ where his vehicle was parked.
Car carrying UK chancellor pictured parking in disabled bay at service station – Treasury source says George Osborne did not realise
The disabled bays in which Osborne’s car was photographed at Magor motorway service station are clearly larger than the other spaces in the car park, accommodating the Land Rover with room to spare. The disabled bays — which occupy the area used by six normal spaces — are also distinguished by yellow markings and three lines between each bay.
Perhaps more damning, however, is the fact Osborne was driven past 230 normal car parking spaces to use the disabled ones right next to the entrance.
With the Office for Budget Responsibility halving halving growth forecasts, analysts are now reading last rites for Britain’s remaining triple-A credit ratings:
“The strong likelihood is that the reduced growth and higher public finance forecasts will be the trigger for Standard & Poor’s and or Fitch to follow Moody’s in stripping the UK of its AAA rating” – chief economist, IHS Global Insight
Those quotes again, in full:
“I warned [the Labour government] that the cupboard was bare and the discretionary borrowing had to stop – and now Britain faces the humiliating possibility of losing its international credit rating.” — George Osborne, August 2009
“Our emergency budget … took us out of the danger zone – and the man we have to thank for that is George Osborne. Our credit rating – the mark of trust in our economy – has been preserved.” — David Cameron, Tory conference 2010
While David Cameron and George Osborne were snapped“loudly taking the piss” out of Boris Johnson in a Davos restaurant (pictured above) last week, it seems the London mayor also enjoys a joke at the expense of his fellow Bullingdon alumni. According to a report in the Express, Boris is fond of boasting to pals that his salary — thought to exceed £400,000 — is bigger than that of David Cameron’s and George Osborne’s combined.
The private remarks fly in the face of his previous claim that the money he receives for his Telegraph column is “chickenfeed”. Boris’ mayoral salary alone exceeds that of the prime minister, who takes home a paltry £142,500. With his £250,000 column included, his regular guaranteed income comfortably dwarfs that of both Cameron and Osborne, who earns a mere £134,565 as chancellor.
Mayor of London — £143,911
Telegraph column – £250,000
With his other interests, however, Boris is thought to trouser well in excess of £400,000 per year: