Laura Sharman 29 September 2015

Council leaders defend redundancy payments

Welsh councils have defended spending £100m in redundancy payments over the past three years, saying it is the ‘political equivalent of blaming the victim’.

A freedom of information request conducted by the Welsh Conservatives found councils spent more than £100m between 2012/13 and 2014/15 on redundancy payments.

However, the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) said the figures were unsurprising given the fact over 11,000 local government jobs have been lost as a result of funding cuts.

The WLGA said that Local government redundancy packages were ‘far less generous’ that offered in other parts of the public sector, at an average of £18,786 per redundancy.

Councillor Peter Rees, WLGA spokesperson on employment said: ‘It is a bit rich complaining about costs of redundancies when it is central government cuts that are creating them. This story is the political equivalent of blaming the victim.

‘Councils want to keep as many people as they can in their jobs to provide key services and to support families and their wider local communities. This is not possible because of austerity.

‘In this context we have a statutory and moral duty to honour people’s contractual terms and conditions. Assembly Members would be the first to complain to their local councils if their own constituent’s contracts were not fully honoured or did not follow the letter of the law.’

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