I have had lots of people asking what was agreed last week and what was not. Given that the budget motion was only presented on the day, it wasn’t that simple to answer the questions posed so I asked strategic finance staff for a breakdown. The reply was helpful as expected and was as follows:
I attach a file called Budget Approved and this has three worksheets in it:
· Breakdown of 2015-16 to 2016-17 budget
· Breakdown on closing the funding gap
· Detail of unallocated general fund following decision at Council.
I also attach a file that details the savings approved, in part and in full, and those that were rejected.
The files referred to above are available at the links below. I hope this answers the questions asked of me but if not, ask again please.
The really sad aspect of all of this is that some council staff were put through the mill over many months only to find their jobs saved. Worse, others went through the same process to find their jobs were to go. The Reform Group proposals were rejected but these would have affected far fewer people, most of them higher paid.
The council had to find savings of just over £10m but you might like to know that almost a quarter of this was due to the UK Government making a change to the way national insurance contributions are made. There has always been a rebate scheme for employers whose staff are in an occupational pension scheme but this has been removed. In effect, Osborne has imposed an additional employment tax on many employers and in our case this amounted to £2.324m.
More to follow in due course because although I have given you the breakdown in the files above, how some of the savings are to be made is most unclear. For example, there is a cut in travel costs, totally unexplained. But did you know that the council pays staff and councillors for some 3.6 million miles of travel a year, 2.457 million of which are paid at 45p per mile?
Just think about these numbers for a moment as they are mind boggling.