Shock, horror! More New Liarbour sleaze.

Sleazy Labour's £2m raid on council tax funds

Police have launched a new investigation into Labour sleaze after a whistleblower revealed the party is creaming off at least £2m a year of taxpayers' money directly into party coffers.

Tony Blair has ordered thousands of his local councillors to hand over hundreds of pounds each from their publicly-funded allowances to Labour slush funds for electioneering and party propaganda.

News that their money is being used to line Labour's pockets will enrage council tax payers who have seen their bills soar as town halls have been starved of cash.

The multi-million pound funding scandal came to light after the former leader of Sunderland council resigned from the party in disgust earlier this week after refusing to pay £215 - a three per cent levy on his £7,106 councillor's allowance - to Labour bosses in Sunderland.

Bryn Sidaway has now reported the matter to Northumbria police. He told the Daily Mail: 'It is a national disgrace. 'We are talking about millions of pounds a year going into the Labour Party war chest via the taxpayer - but without them even knowing. This is their money. They elect local councillors in the hope that it will improve their lives - not to fund Labour's bid to be re-elected.'

"The sad fact is this: The Labour Party is desperate for money and will do just about anything to make sure it has enough money in the kitty to win the next election," he said. "The stench of desperation is horrible."

Although I'm not surprised by this, I have been surprised by the amount of money councillors can claim nowadays in allowances

All councillors throughout England now get paid a basic allowance. An independent panel sets the amount in each borough. The payment can be in excess of £10,000 but the national average is around £7,000.

In addition, a whole host of council officials receive extra funds for performing other tasks. In Sunderland, where the row has led to a police investigation, the council leader is paid an additional £31,982, his deputy £21,321, other cabinet members £17,590 and chairmen of committees get £10,661.
And it's set to rise too

Labour chiefs in local government are now set to demand even higher allowances for councillors - allowing them to siphon off a larger pot of public cash into party accounts.

I'm wondering how many more pensioners will now say "Fcuk it, I'm not paying any more council tax"
I am now speaking about allowances paid to councillors and not the siphoning off of funds to the labour party. These quoted figures are the exception and not the rule and many elected councillors are paid a pittance for the hours they put in on council business. Try looking at the allowances given in America and Europe for carrying out council work. Having left the Army and worked for a council for 12 years my experience is that many would be younger potential councillors cannot afford to hold down a job support a family and attend council business. The consequence of this is that many councils are full of older councillors the young cannot afford to do it. The pity is that it creates a unbalanced democracy when what we need are first class people to manage multi million pound businesses. Would you expect to say run BP with a part time board of directors? I can tell you the answer to that you wouldn't have any directors. There is a very good argument for paying elected councillors a full time wage with a proper contract of service and a salary. The surprise is that we get the standard of local government we get which is on the cheap. And if you don't believe in democracy try the alternative! And that is not to say that it needs reforming and bringing up to date, it does.
The multi-million pound funding scandal came to light after the former leader of Sunderland council resigned from the party in disgust earlier this week after refusing to pay £215 - a three per cent levy on his £7,106 councillor's allowance - to Labour bosses in Sunderland.

Looks remarkably like union dues as they used to be.
Off topic i know, but as a fellow Evertonian i'd like to say a few words in memory of Ben Novak.

The only people whose lives were meant to improve as a result of the sacrifice of people like Ben Novak, were the rich who started this war for the sole purpose of lining their pockets with Iraqi oil money. That is the tragedy of the death of Ben Novak: the fact that, while he and his family and friends were being led to believe that his death served the purpose of "bringing democracy to the Iraqi people", or "making the world a safer place", or whatever, the truth is that him and the countless other young working class lads in the British and American Armed Forces were sent out there because they were deemed to be expendable in the Grand Cause of making Iraq a suitable environment for the wholesale looting of its natural resources by US (and, to a lesser extent, British) corporations. Soldiers like Ben Novak are expendable in the pursuit of this cause; "soldiers" like Princes William and Harry - who are privileged to be members of the class that intend to benefit from the spoils of the Iraq War - are not.

This is why it annoys me when people have a go at anti-war activists for "not supporting our troops". The truth - despite what we are constantly brainwashed into thinking by the incessant lies, evasions, omissions, and obfuscations of the ubiquitous capitalist media - is that the best way to support our troops is to demand their immediate safe return home. If the anti-war movement had been listened to by those in power, Ben Novak would still be alive today. That fact alone should amply demonstrate that we socialists care about the lives of British soldiers; Tony Blair and the rich big business ruling class he represents does not. To him they are merely resources - human resources (for Blair is a big fan of this term) - to be exploited in the pursuit of more and more wealth and power.

The purpose of the British Army should be to defend the people of these Islands from the threat of foreign invasion. It should not be to act as a means of subjugating various resource-rich portions of the globe - frivolously endangering the lives of British soldiers in the process - for the sole benefit of rich men in the White House and on Wall Street. People who truly love this country should consider this: for over 60 years now Britain - with the connivance of its quisling ruling elite - has been militarily occupied and politically and economically controlled by the Government of the United States of America. The rank and file of the British Armed Forces, if they are looking for the real threat to the security of the British people, should look not to poor brown people in the Middle East, but to the decision-makers in Washington and their pathetic puppet government in Downing Street.


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