BOSTON borough councillors have given themselves an 85 per cent pay hike over the next three years.
Twenty-four councillors voted for the rise which will see their basic allowance go from £2,378 to £4,400 over the period 2011-12 to 2013-14 – the first such rise in six years.
It will mean an extra £53,226 could have been spent on members allowances by 2013-14.
Six councillors voted against the recommendations with one abstaining at the meeting of the full council on Monday.
Amendments by Coun Richard Leggot to postpone any increase until next year and by Coun Paul Goodale to take it out of the current budget for the first year were voted down.
Coun Paul Gleeson raised concerns of how the council had been unable to afford other items.
He said: “I have been told the council can’t afford a survey of homelessness in Boston and yet we meet tonight to discuss our allowances.
“We are here when our people are in recession and we are here when our staff are not getting pay rises.”
However, Coun Mike Gilbert hit back, saying it was councillors choices whether they took the rise.
He said: “Every year we make this decision to shuffle our feet. We have had no increase for six years and that’s an incredible length of time.”
The change will start this year and, for the period 2011-12, will use £10,090 from the council’s reserves.
The increase for 2012-13 and 2013-14 will form part of the budgets for those years.
The rise will also bring the council in line with other district councils across Lincolnshire which all currently have basic allowances of more than £4,000. This includes the City of Lincoln Council’s £4,480, East Lindsey District Council’s £4,149, North Kesteven District Council’s £4,052, South Holland District Council’s £5,796, South Kesteven District Council’s £4,380 and West Lindsey District Council’s £5,100.