Council redundancy packages obscene.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats in RCT have hit out at the continuing payments of what they say are "obscene" redundancy packages being paid to senior officers.

One of the items on the Council agenda for 25 November is to consider a severance package worth a total of £180,617 to a single, unnamed individual.

Councillor Mike Powell says it is disgraceful that such payments are still being made at a time when public services are being cut.

"My colleagues and I have been protesting for years at the ludicrously high level of payments being handed out by this Labour Council to highly paid staff.

"I completely agree with the current policy of cutting back on the number of chief officers in the authority, it should have been done a long time ago. However, to then pay out six figure sums to encourage people to leave early on a voluntary early retirement basis is wrong.

"This proposal has to come before full Council because the total is over £100,000 but it will no doubt be rubber stamped by the Labour majority. After all the VER committee that originally discussed it took only ten minutes for their whole meeting."

The £180,617 figure is made up of a statutory redundancy payment of £35,009, plus a discretionary amount of £58,325 which is paid directly to the employee. The package is topped up with a payment of £87,283 into the employee's pension fund.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly candidate for the Rhondda Karen Roberts says people will be rightly outraged to see such figures being bandied about.

"It is only fair that anyone facing redundancy is paid what is due to them, but as we have said time and time again it is certainly not fair that public service employees then get these huge top up payments.

"This person will have finished work on a salary which is way above the average wage and with a very generous pension. Anyone being made redundant in the private sector would leave with just the basic element. However, this Council have always treated the discretionary element of the settlement as compulsory and in this case that means the person in question will leave with a redundancy payment more than twice that.

"Not only that but there is then a huge payment into his or her personal pension fund which tops up the pension considerably.

"It is disgraceful given the cutbacks that are being made to services."

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