Monday, October 04, 2010

Milage rates

While the big rumble is the car-parks and the new Tesco looming on the horizon there are smaller blips going on that may remain un-noticed having little to do with the public at large.

An item was brought to my attention in August, but only briefly and not very well. Another encounter brought a clearer understanding of what's going on. I'm talking about mileage rates for council staff. Yawn.

As it stands the council uses the National Joint Council for Local Government (NJC) rate guide this divides car-users into two groups Essential and Casual. Essential users get a lump sum per year and an allowance for the first 8,500 miles. Casual users just get the allowance. Next year the NJC is increasing the sums and the council are looking to change the scheme. Rather than just stick with the old allowances it's new broom time and the use of the HMRC guidelines.

This means the council saving money so we should all be happy. Well maybe, see the HMRC guidelines are designed for businesses. Now if you're in a business and the job you do means you have to use a car, say you're a travelling salesman, the business tends to provide the car; one from their fleet. You save receipts for petrol and get the mileage back as part of your job. You are an Essential user.

Sure you get taxed on the car, but you don't pay for repairs or MOTs etc. and this was mirrored for the Essential user class; rather than a car they got the lump sum to offset the wear-and-tear sustained during work use.

What the council (or to be precise the Cabinet) propose is the removal of the two different 'classes' and putting everyone on the standard mileage allowance. What's more as almost a side-effect this is a flat mileage allowance regardless of engine size; use a big wasteful engine and that eats into the mileage allowance more than a environmentally friendly engine. That's great except for those whose work requires a big powerful engine, and oh by the way as always it's up to the owner to try to sell their 'gas-guzzler' to pick up another car; so hey more expense with a very slow recoup time.

Now I'm sure some just don't care, or see this is as fair; I'm not going to take sides. What it does mean though is that it's not just the public who's muttering at things done in council; it's some of the workers too.

One final note - I'm sure it's all innocent but check out page 2 of this document answering the questions from employees.

Q. It was agreed in 2001 by the Chief Executive at that time that essential user allowance would be attached to all posts that require to be called out.
A. Since 2001 the Council’s financial situation has changed significantly and all efforts are being made to realise savings through other means rather than reduce posts.
In other words - there is another way we could do this, do you want us to consider that? Thought not.


Unknown said...

Hey flip. You seen the Facebook page set up by a new resident Phil? I'd liek t ohelp him get the wording right as Fran had a little pop.

However, I think this could turn into the platform for the expansion of issues and awareness surrounding all that is currently not right. perhaps we could use the discussion pages to post questions on all the subjects currently close to our hearts. what do you think.

FlipC said...

I'd spotted Tav's take on things and tried to add a comment prior to him getting the link in properly. I've just re-added my comment there.

Basically it's a mess; as I've said one could argue that a certain tightening of the belt is required; but they've just gone about it in a high-handed and antagonistic manner.

Oh and that report that Bernie points to about Adverse Possession. They're talking crap.

Any application would automatically be rejected unless they've been in possession for 10 or 12 years. And by possession that would mean the car being in the same spot for that period of time, or some barrier being in place to prevent anyone else from taking that space.

As for leasehold interest - they're paying for a service; that's like saying I should now get free broadband since I've been a paying customer for over 10 years.

It wouldn't even apply to the free car-parks for the reason I've mentioned to you before - they had permission to park there from the owner. Nothing stops said permission being removed.

Personally I'm not a FaceBook fan, but I'll certainly keep my eye on the comings and goings.

Unknown said...

thnkas. haha. you rumbled me, it is tour analytical input and dissemination I was after. Trying to ween myself off it too, but this page should get large and looks like sucking me back in. it is joyous to add the link to a local group with 7,000+ members.