Tuesday, 16 August 2011

While the poor get poorer, Rhondda Cynon Taf council leader gets three salaries

One topic guaranteed to make me very, very angry is how so many of our so-called public "servants" and politicians feel it is fine to rake in the money, while the people they supposedly serve endure increasing hardship.

A Plaid press release reveals that the Labour leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council, Russel Roberts, is making nearly £100,000 a year from three publicly funded sources. Mr Roberts got £58,962 in financial year 2010-2011 for his work as council leader, including £1,177 travel allowance. Incidentally, that was a 3% increase over his previous salary. This pay rise was granted at a time when council employees at humbler levels are being forced to accept changes in terms and conditions which could result in massive cuts in take-home pay of up to 40%.

Not content with a salary many times higher than the income of most people living in RCT, Mr Roberts also poked his snout into two other troughs over the same period, grabbing £23,544 from South Wales Police Authority as its chairman, while Cwm Taf Health Authority paid him a further £13,344.

As Plaid point out, the council leader's job is supposed to be a full-time placement. It is a wonder how Mr Roberts manages to give value for money to his three employers. Perhaps the answer is that at that level, value for money is no longer a criterion...

Living here in Treorci, I do not have to look far to see how people are being affected by the economic crisis in this country. Major difficulties are being caused by the relentless cuts in services that are being imposed on our community by RCT Council. Nevertheless, council members, led by Mr Roberts had no qualms about awarding themselves increased allowances.

The fact that Plaid Cymru councillors refused to accept these increases for themselves is yet another reason I am proud to be a Plaid member.

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