Featuring on page 31 of the Council's Statement_of_Accounts_2011-12, the total cost of the exit packages to the beleaguered south of Scotland local authority has been revealed as a whopping £5,184,187, despite the Council having clocked up massive debts, huge losses in bankrupt Icelandic Banks, and involvement in other financial scandals resulting in huge losses to taxpayers.
The two most expensive severance packages revealed in the SBC accounts were each in the £200,000 to £250,000 bracket and cost a total of £410,207 to taxpayers Three other exit packages reported were in the £100,000 to £150,000 bracket each, costing a total of £367,470. Remaining exit packages appear to have an average payout of well over £20,000 each, despite the Council’s mounting debts & financial dithering.
The shocking figures have come in for severe criticism by some who say the Borders cannot afford such lavish exit schemes during these times of massive public service cuts and strains on public finances throughout the country.
In response to SBC’s claims in the annual accounts that savings will me made due to the lowering of staff numbers, a local transparency campaigner said : “It is difficult to see what savings can be made by giving staff over-the-odds exit packages on top of a debt mountain approaching three hundred million pounds.”
Openness campaigners in the Borders have also said they will be calling for an inquiry into the payoffs, after studying similar exit schemes of other local authorities in Scotland & public bodies who appear to have spent much less money on higher numbers of staff.
Copies of Scottish Borders Council’s 2011-2012 accounts can be viewed online at the following links :
In an update to the report post publication, information has been passed to Scottish Law Reporter indicating that senior officials of Scottish Borders Council 'called in' members of the media for private individual briefings late last week on the release annual accounts. Journalists were apparently 'warned' to be careful on how they reported the size of the pay-off figures released in the SBC annual accounts.
£262 MILLION POUND DEBT MOUNTAIN AT SCOTTISH BORDERS COUNCIL :
While Scottish Borders Council pays out highly generous severance packages and has recently been locked in a battle to keep payments to former senior officials secret, Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney revealed to Holyrood msps the true extent of Scottish Borders Council’s debt situation, now standing at a staggering TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO MILLION POUNDS,
Figures revealed by Mr Swinney in a written answer to Tory MSP, Margaret Scanlon revealed the debt situation at Scottish Borders Council had nearly DOUBLED in the past five years of Conservative-LibDem control, from a figure of £166,489 million in 2007 to a whopping £262,551m as of last year.
Mr Swinney also revealed Scottish Borders Council are forking out over TWELVE MILLION POUNDS A YEAR for interest on debts such as assets acquired under Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) or similar arrangements, a figure which has leapt from £9,090 million in 2007 to £12,273 million as of 2011.
Local campaigners in the Scottish Borders have criticised the scale of the problems at Scottish Borders Council and the lack of effort to control the ever rising mountain of debt at Scottish Borders Council, which now equates to a sum of £2,403 & rising for every person living in the Scottish Borders as of this date.
The Scottish Borders also has the unenviable record as the region with the lowest wages paid in the entire UK yet local taxpayers appear to be expected to stump up each time the local authority makes a mess of its finances