South Wales Guardian opinion
5:30am Wednesday 14th May 2014 in News
MEMBERS of Take That are coming under fire for allegedly signing up to a tax avoidance scheme for the ultra-rich amid calls that they should pay the money back.
Here in Carmarthenshire, county council chief executive Mark James is also facing calls to ‘cough up’ after it emerged last year that he received a £28,750 “pay supplement” given in lieu of employer pension contributions.
The Wales Audit Office also said the local authority had been “unlawful” in granting an indemnity for him in a libel court case against blogger Jacqui Thompson.
Now MP Jonathan Edwards says the county’s top civil servant should be “instructed” to pay back the money.
Last week Dyfed Powys Police announced that an investigation by Gloucestershire Police into those two transactions had found no evidence of criminal activity and now Mr James – who rightly stepped aside to allow the probe to take place – is expected to resume his £180,000-a-year duties.
Yet the WAO’s belief that these payments were “unlawful” leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. The public’s cConfidence in the local authority has been severely shaken at a time when stringent budgetary cuts are beginning to bite, services are being slashed and jobs are being lost.
What better way to restore some of this lost faith by paying back the sums of money? which have led the council to be exposed to such strong scrutiny and so badly damaged its reputation
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