Our allowance is excessive

I WELCOME the proposal made by one of Huntingdonshire District Council s scrutiny panels to turn the members car allowances scheme on its head. This will give a lower mileage rate to those who drive gas-guzzling cars and give an incentive to those willin

I WELCOME the proposal made by one of Huntingdonshire District Council's scrutiny panels to turn the members' car allowances scheme on its head. This will give a lower mileage rate to those who drive gas-guzzling cars and give an incentive to those willing to drive smaller and greener cars. So far, so good.

However, I do not agree with the level of allowance they are proposing. They suggest giving the drivers of the cars with the lowest carbon emissions 64p per mile, scaling down to 30p per mile for the worst polluters: 64p per mile is quite simply excessive. It is 24p above the rate allowed for tax purposes by the Inland Revenue.

This means that for every extra 24p paid out by HDC, ie the taxpayers, 5.28 pence would be returned to central government by members on standard rate income tax and 9.6 pence by higher rate tax payers.

I do not think Huntingdonshire taxpayers want to see part of their local taxes going back to central government in this way. We have plenty of better things to spend the money on round here.


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I suggest the maximum member allowance should be 40p per mile and that those with cars that are un-environmental should get only a nominal amount, for example 10p per mile.

PETER DOWNES

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Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Huntingdonshire District Council

DO we elect councillors to look after our interests or their own? The answer would appear to be their own.

While councillors are set to pay themselves up to 64p per mile for their cars, an increase of over 50 per cent of the Inland Revenue accepted charge of 40p, they are increasing car park charges for the electorate of either one-third or two-thirds with a view to encouraging us to use public transport. Will the only cars using our roads in future decades belong to councillors?

At the next election we must elect councillors who represent us, if such candidates exist.

ANTHONY BARRACLOUGH

Burleigh Road

St Ives

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