£200k healthcare for council managers
PUBLISHED: 17:37 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 07 September 2010
Josie Hinton FINANCE bosses spent more than £200,000 on private healthcare for senior managers at Westminster council last year – despite announcing 400 low-level workers will have to be sacked to cope in the recession. More than £228,000 of public money
FINANCE bosses spent more than £200,000 on private healthcare for senior managers at Westminster council last year - despite announcing 400 low-level workers will have to be sacked to cope in the recession.
More than £228,000 of public money was spent on private healthcare insurance for 100 top council staff, as Town Hall chiefs announced redundancies were inevitable in the recession.
Finance boss Cllr Melvyn Caplan has defended the bill, saying it was necessary to attract the best staff to Westminster.
But the revelations have caused outrage among opposition councillors who say funds should be focused on frontline services instead of senior staff perks.
"Why are taxpayers forking out nearly a quarter of a million pounds a year on private health insurance for 100 senior managers at a time when money is tight and hundreds of council staff are losing their jobs because of the Conservatives' financial incompetence?" said Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour group.
"Council spending under the Conservatives is out of control.
"Unnecessary expenditure like this needs to be stopped so that money can be focused on frontline services for the elderly, young people and those in real need."
Finance bosses have refused to apologise for the bill, which is expected to cause outrage at a time when the public are reeling from the MPs expenses scandal.
Cllr Caplan said: "Our senior staff are collectively responsible for a budget of almost £1billion in a highly complex organisation offering hundreds of services in the heart of London.
"The fact remains that if you want to employ the best then you have to be prepared to pay competitive salaries as well as offer competitive benefits.
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