Council insist pension plan not ‘inherently unlawful’ before meeting this Friday

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THE Wales Audit Office report which branded payments to council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones and another senior officer unlawful will be discussed by members on Friday.

The Council will be asked to consider the report and its recommendations, and will receive detailed legal advice.

The Council will also be asked to take into account the WAO’s legal position, which the Auditor shared with the Authority last week.

A council spokesman said: “In that advice the Auditor clearly states that he is not suggesting that “a pay supplement of this type is intrinsically and necessarily unlawful.

“Further independent expert advice will be shared with Council demonstrating that the pensions facility offered to County Council staff is used in other public sector organisations in the health and university sectors.

“Additional evidence will be presented which shows that, rather than resulting in a disadvantage, independent actuarial experts have advised that there would be a positive financial benefit to the Authority.

“The advice received indicates that the arrangements could result in a marginal saving for the local authority’s pension fund, over and above the additional tax paid to the Inland Revenue.”

While there are lawful routes available this was not the route taken by Pembrokeshire Coutny Council, as outlined in the recent Wales Audit Office report.

It was also confirmed last week that the police is speaking to the Crown Prosecution Service about the payments.

Council Leader Jamie Adams said: “The Council is required to consider the Public Interest Report within one month of its receipt. It is important that Councillors have the opportunity to consider all the relevant evidence before deciding how best to respond to the Auditor’s recommendations.

“For example, one of the misunderstandings that has developed is that, as a result of this arrangement, two senior officers of the Council are receiving tax free pay supplements.

“That is simply not true. For officers who chose to remain in the Local Government Pension Scheme, employee and employer pension contributions are tax free.

“However, in electing to leave the scheme and make their own arrangements for retirement, the officers concerned are paying considerably more tax on a monthly basis than would otherwise be the case.

“Another misunderstanding that has arisen is that a criminal act has been committed. I understand that at a recent meeting with the Authority, the Auditor confirmed that he was not suggesting this was the case.”

Councillor Adams continued: “I am looking forward to the debate.

“It is of the utmost importance that Members do not allow a perception to arise that they had predetermined their position on these matters before seeing all the evidence that will be presented to Council.”

The meeting will be held at 10am in the council chamber at County Hall. It will also be broadcast online.

Comments (9)

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5:01pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Gogledd says...

lol
lol Gogledd
  • Score: 3

5:36pm Mon 10 Feb 14

chizy says...

Deluded to the end. Loving this particular quote from Jamie Adams:

"However, in electing to leave the scheme and make their own arrangements for retirement, the officers concerned are paying considerably more tax on a monthly basis than would otherwise be the case."

Oh, please. I know I was born at night, but not last night.
Deluded to the end. Loving this particular quote from Jamie Adams: "However, in electing to leave the scheme and make their own arrangements for retirement, the officers concerned are paying considerably more tax on a monthly basis than would otherwise be the case." Oh, please. I know I was born at night, but not last night. chizy
  • Score: 6

9:01pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Welshman23 says...

Jamie Adams is now questioning WAO unless I am mistaken what qualifications does he have to even question the WAO. Another cover up from a bunch of incompetent buffons.
Jamie Adams is now questioning WAO unless I am mistaken what qualifications does he have to even question the WAO. Another cover up from a bunch of incompetent buffons. Welshman23
  • Score: 7

9:51pm Mon 10 Feb 14

pembrokedock123 says...

astounding - but maybe not unexpected - that PCC leadership are trying to argue that black is white. let's just hope the majority of councillors don't fall for it.
3 key words : "unlawful cash payments"
astounding - but maybe not unexpected - that PCC leadership are trying to argue that black is white. let's just hope the majority of councillors don't fall for it. 3 key words : "unlawful cash payments" pembrokedock123
  • Score: 1

10:12pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Cymru bach says...

One is almost left speechless by the audacity and front of these Cabinet Officers.

Have they actually thought out for themselves, or are they just repeating a mantra from the CEO and senior officers?
One is almost left speechless by the audacity and front of these Cabinet Officers. Have they actually thought out for themselves, or are they just repeating a mantra from the CEO and senior officers? Cymru bach
  • Score: 5

9:08am Tue 11 Feb 14

teifion says...

Oh Jamie , it's SO legal that the Police are meeting Carmarthenshire Chief Exec ( http://carmarthenpla
nning.blogspot.pt/20
14/02/police-to-meet
-with-carmarthenshir
e.html )

May have been taught to be cautious but I'm betting they cannot interview one and not another i.e BPJ otherwise questions will be asked about the Police behaviour in this case

PS Ceredigions Skools the best in Wales - Chief Exec earning only approx a half of BPJs remuneration makes you laugh when you remember the mantra - pay the most to get the best

PPS who do we get our £50k back from?
Oh Jamie , it's SO legal that the Police are meeting Carmarthenshire Chief Exec ( http://carmarthenpla nning.blogspot.pt/20 14/02/police-to-meet -with-carmarthenshir e.html ) May have been taught to be cautious but I'm betting they cannot interview one and not another i.e BPJ otherwise questions will be asked about the Police behaviour in this case PS Ceredigions Skools the best in Wales - Chief Exec earning only approx a half of BPJs remuneration makes you laugh when you remember the mantra - pay the most to get the best PPS who do we get our £50k back from? teifion
  • Score: 6

10:01am Tue 11 Feb 14

Indeview J Hudson says...

We can now see the fall out from an incomplete original report on which lay Councillors were asked consider and approve proposals put forward by senior officers.
What will happen if the Councillors decides to revisit this proposal and determines to approve it?
When is the next election?
We can now see the fall out from an incomplete original report on which lay Councillors were asked consider and approve proposals put forward by senior officers. What will happen if the Councillors decides to revisit this proposal and determines to approve it? When is the next election? Indeview J Hudson
  • Score: 2

2:32pm Tue 11 Feb 14

teifion says...

Welshman23 wrote:
Jamie Adams is now questioning WAO unless I am mistaken what qualifications does he have to even question the WAO. Another cover up from a bunch of incompetent buffons.
His qualification is getting four years expenses through(against Council guidelines)
[quote][p][bold]Welshman23[/bold] wrote: Jamie Adams is now questioning WAO unless I am mistaken what qualifications does he have to even question the WAO. Another cover up from a bunch of incompetent buffons.[/p][/quote]His qualification is getting four years expenses through(against Council guidelines) teifion
  • Score: 2

8:45pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Welshman23 says...

teifion wrote:
Welshman23 wrote:
Jamie Adams is now questioning WAO unless I am mistaken what qualifications does he have to even question the WAO. Another cover up from a bunch of incompetent buffons.
His qualification is getting four years expenses through(against Council guidelines)
Teifion
Great comment
[quote][p][bold]teifion[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Welshman23[/bold] wrote: Jamie Adams is now questioning WAO unless I am mistaken what qualifications does he have to even question the WAO. Another cover up from a bunch of incompetent buffons.[/p][/quote]His qualification is getting four years expenses through(against Council guidelines)[/p][/quote]Teifion Great comment Welshman23
  • Score: 1

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