Bath and North East Somerset Council yesterday voted to support better pay for its lowest paid employees.
The Council voted in favour of the proposals by the Liberal Democrat Group to increase the pay of those Council workers on the lowest incomes. This outcome will now be taken forward into the Council’s budget-setting process for 2014-15.
Councillor Bellotti (Liberal Democrat, Lyncombe) commented: “Liberal Democrats recognise that times are tough, particularly for those on the lowest incomes who are less able to cope with rising costs such as heating, food and transport.
“Over the last two years we have already taken action to help those on lower incomes throughout the district, by freezing council tax for the last 2 years and making our Social Fund available for those who are struggling.
“[The] Council has supported our proposal to help Council employees on the lowest pay – a few of whom earn only £6.45 an hour – by raising their pay. Tonight’s vote represents the start of a trajectory and in future years, we are hoping to do more.
“It is important, however, that we are responsible with taxpayers’ money and that we ensure that the decisions we take do not lead to further budget pressures and thus to job and service cuts. In our decision tonight we are ensuring that the proper processes are followed to reach our goals.
“[The] Council also voted to support what Liberal Democrats in government are doing to help the least well off by raising the tax threshold. Next April the tax threshold will rise again to £10,000, resulting in a total tax cut of £700 for anyone with a full time job. The Liberal Democrats will work to raise the threshold further to above the minimum wage and index link it after the next election.”