COUNCIL

DOUBLE DIPPING SPECTRE LOOMS OVER ECAN COMMISSIONERS

Thursday 15 July 2010, 10:14AM
By ECan In Exile
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The governments unelected ECan commissioners risk being perceived as double dipping on fees and expenses  while council programmes and staff are being cut back, according to pro-democracy group, ECan in Exile.

An ECan in Exile official information request has revealed that the commissioners have cost the Canterbury ratepayers over $13,000 in claimed expenses, in-kind provisions and extra benefits, in addition to $65,000 in daily fees, during their first month in office.

ECan in Exile obtained the figures following high public interest in politicians expenses and have announced that they will continue to seek and publish the information monthly.

ECan in Exile believes the commissioners should not be claiming expenses in addition to the high consultant rate daily fees they have been awarded by the government.

“At their daily fee pay rate, almost three times the pro rata salary rate of elected councillors, commissioners should not morally, in our opinion, be claiming additional expenses. Consultant pay rates are higher than salaried rates because consultants meet their own overheads, travel and office expenses. We say to be paid consultants rates while claiming expenses and taking in-kind provisions could risk raising the spectre of percieved double dipping,” spokesperson Helen Isra said today.

“At this time when ECan is cutting budgets and making skilled staff redundant we would expect the commissioners to show similar constraint in their own remuneration, especially when citizens are being rated to fund this but without the checks and balances of elected representation,” Isra said.

Lately ECan made it’s much respected sole Energy Policy Analyst redundant and commissioners announced significant cuts to the Christchurch clean heat programme.

ECan in Exile has published the expense information on their websites updated Accountability section and included a poll so that Cantabrians can have their say on the issue.