23 things you said about Hartlepool councillors' inflation-busting 31% rise
Hartlepool councillors have provoked a storm of criticism after voting to give themselves a 31% increase in basic allowances.
The rise - recommended by an Independent Remuneration Panel - will see the basic allowance given to the town’s 33 councillors increased from £5,953 to £7,792 a year.
It will bring Hartlepool more in line with the allowances paid by neighbouring councils, but some councillors have said they will not take it.
Here are some of the things Mail readers said about the decision:
Dawn Atkinson: "What a surprise - not! Us NHS workers get 1%. Wrong, just wrong!"
Gadge Morrelli: "Should be ashamed of themselves, and no, they are not worth it, so why don't they let the people of Hartlepool know what the 31% rise in allowances are going to be spent on? I'm sure we would all love to know."
Amanda Carruthers: "I work 40 hours and more a week, and I got a 1% pay rise this year. This is disgusting!"
Derek Beaumont: "They're not even worth a 31% pay cut."
Joyce Appleton: "How do they justify a 31% pay rise when NHS staff is 1%? Hang your head in shame Hartlepool councillors."
Brian Peart: "Do they agree with all of us reducing what we pay in tax by 31%? They are 31% better off, it's only right we are too."
Bryn Flicker: "I'm struggling to square the fact that anyone who would consider themselves a socialist would take this rise. Let's hear it, where is the justification? Is there good reason, or has our local Labour party been systematically infiltrated by closet Tories?"
Marky Hewitt: "How they view themselves is priceless, their actual performance is worthless. A vote for a Labour councillor is a vote for less money in your pocket and a whole lot more in theirs."
Stuart Cooper: "For years our council has sucked the life out of this town and now people are surprised they want rewarding for it. Doesn't matter want the people want."
David Welford: "You keep voting Labour, so it serves you right. Keep voting them in and they keep killing the town."
Freddie Corbett: "A Fens councillor, Jim Lindridge told a full council chamber that he had enough money and didn't need his councillor's allowances. He then voted to accept a 31% increase in allowances. Jeremy will be very impressed with his selfless example..."
Michael Sweeney: "Remember the names and when they are back up for re-election in your ward, remember it and make sure you vote against them.. not because they have "labour" next to their name...
Steve Gibbon: "£3,200 is more than enough to pay out of pocket expenses, internet, phone calls, travel even a sandwich with a bit left over for the odd pint. Let's not forget this position is not an occupation."
Julie Marshall: "No, why should they get more money? What do they do for the wards they are in? Nothing. And it's not their job, they all have real jobs. Why should they get more money for doing nothing? Is that why our council tax has gone up, to give them a pay rise or to pay for all the mistakes they have made over the years?"
Andy Pounder: "You can't justify 31% pay increases, whilst screaming poverty, increasing the council tax, and making cuts to services. And certainly not whilst the majority of this town is struggling to make ends meet. Being a councillor used be considered a public service - working to improve the town for the good of the people - now it's just another example of altruism being dead."
Marty Threlfall: "Disgusting. They should be put on performance-related pay."
Paul Nedley: "Must be great, voting yourself a massive pay rise. Hang your heads in shame!"
Helen Wilson: "Instead of a 31% pay increase I suggest putting the money towards care within Hartlepool - nursing and residential homes, home care and Hartlepool hospital, the police force, after-school club funding, or rejuvenating areas of the town?
Rebecca Barnes: "We have one of the highest council taxes in the UK. How can this sort of pay rise be justified? Appalling."
Rachel Wilma Creevy: "I recognise why councillors should be paid a fair wage for what they do, and they certainly get plenty of flak for it, but I don't feel that now is the right time for this."
Ann Brown: "They should be ashamed, hiking our taxes up, adding new parking charges, then giving themselves a huge pay rise."
Jason Anderson: "Local people and businesses are losing trust in most councillors and senior council officers. I know I have."
A lonely voice of reason came from Emma McSweeney: "I'm torn on whether I think they should have it. On the one hand it's an allowance that's rightfully theirs and every other councillor in the whole of the UK gets more than Hartlepool's councillors do and they just want to raise it to bring it equal to every other councillor in Britain. However, I think all councillors are ridiculously overpaid already, so a raise feels like a terrible waste of public money."