Craig Whittaker, ‘Cut perks to save bus passes’, Courier 21st December, suggests Calderdale Council take note of Eric Pickles ‘50 Ways to Save’ to avoid having to cut some school bus passes. Perhaps he could turn his attention to somewhere a bit closer to home, the cost of parliament itself, as I note a whiff of hypocrisy in the air.
I agree that councillors should not receive free or reserved parking if this is not available to other ratepayers, but then neither should MPs, I would be reassured to hear that MPs pay the going rate, at least £30 a day, for the use of The Palace of Westminster car park. Mr Whittaker suggests councillors should not get free meals and this does seem hard to justify bearing in mind they get an allowance but MPs’ bars and canteens were subsidised by £5.8m in the year 2011, nearly £9,000 per head for each of the 650 members, surely completely unjustified in view of a salary well over double the UK average. When it comes to pensions MPs have an unbelievably generous scheme, perhaps this is an area where Mr Whittaker could do some campaigning and the money saved could be returned to councils to reinstate the school bus passes and other cuts in services.
Bramley Lane, Lightcliffe