My Pay: December 2022
Postal strikes meant that my payslip arrived a bit late this time, delaying the publication.
For those of you who are not familiar with that I am doing here, I'm looking to be the most transparent and accountable councillor. I've been watching and reading a lot about how ministers in the Taiwan government are making vast amounts of data 'open source'. This means anyone can dive into the economic data and suggest policies.
There's been some pushback, by other Councillors, to me publishing my payslip. The main objection being that residents can already see my 'allowance' on the council's website.
This is true, but it's not enough. All you are given is one line that says my allowance is £10,412. That's it. No breakdown on the hours I've been in the Town Hall. No information about the tax I pay. Worse of all, nowhere are you told that Havering Council then spends an additional £65k a year in National Insurance contributions.
Seeing how much a politician is paying in tax can tell you something very important, whether they are working a second job or not.
Transparency isn't just about putting everything out there. It's about making it easily accessible and understandable.
This is what I am doing.
So, my December pay.
I was paid £867.67. I then paid £173.60 in tax. This made my take-home pay £694.07.
My total pay since election.
Since I've been elected, I've been paid £6717.45. I've paid £1343.40 in tax and £91.22 In National Insurance. Havering Council have then paid £209.65 in National Insurance.
Am I earning the money I've been paid?
This is the key question and one that every Councillor should be able to show.
Attendance in the Town Hall isn't the only way to gauge if a Councillor is being busy. But it's a start. I've attended 19 meetings and been expected at 20. This is the highest number of any Councillor in Havering. If I allow for 2hrs per meeting, then divide my pay by that, I am earning around £176.77 per hour (pre-tax) for each meeting.
I think that this is very high. So I make sure to also work hard with supporting residents in casework. For the cases that required extra investigation, not just a phone call, I've handled 62 pieces of casework since election in May 2022.
I've done a deeper dive into councillor's attendance. Click the blog below to read more.