Laura Sharman 24 October 2017

Councils accused of paying out ‘excessive’ mileage allowances

Councils accused of paying out ‘excessive’ mileage allowances

A new investigation by the TaxPayers’ Alliance has found 38% of councils are paying staff more than the HMRC approved rate for mileage payments.

The report found 173 councils paid their employees more than the recommended rate of 45 pence per mile in 2016-17.

The average council rate for mileage was 48.92 pence, meaning the average driver was £25.15 better off over 250 miles.

According to the report, Bassetlaw Council paid the highest rate of 69 pence per mile, while Lincolnshire council paid out the most in mileage allowances at £6.9m.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: ‘Driving is extremely expensive in Britain thanks to sky-high rates of fuel and vehicle excise duties, but there's no excuse for councils to pay over-the-odds.

‘It's simply not credible for councils to plead poverty and raise council tax while paying excessive mileage rates, especially when the government has told councils to rein in these payments for the past five years.

‘No local authority should be paying more than HMRC's approved rate.’

The research also found Croydon, Hampshire and Rochford all paid higher rates for low emission vehicles, with Ceredigion pyaing higher rates for lower-paid staff.

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