Tory County Councillors have spent £5,000 of taxpayers’ money – on financial advisers to help them avoid paying tax on their travel expenses.
“This is a disgrace,” said Alan Bullion, Liberal Democrat prospective Euro candidate and life-long Kent resident. “As leader of the council who lobbied and lobbied for the money, Paul Carter should resign. How can he possibly justify wasting public money in a legal battle to increase his expenses when he is closing children centres in our borough because of lack of funds?
“The tax authorities had already undertaken a lengthy investigation and ruled that there was absolutely no justification in letting off county councillors from paying tax on their expenses – yet still Mr Carter pushed and pushed for the money.”
This shocking revelation follows the recent storm when it was revealed Mr Carter had tried to increase the mileage allowance of county councillors from 45p a mile to 67p a mile – a move exposed by Trudy Dean, leader of the Lib Dem group at County Hall. The spending hike had been backed by a motley alliance of Tory, Labour and UKIP, with the UKIP leader declaring himself behind the Tory measure “all the way”.
Thanks to Lib Dem pressure and a public outcry, Mr Carter backed down. But after this latest revelation that he used public money to feather the nest of councillors, can he survive?