Given the history of one party fiefs in local government the idea that Glasgow City Council is incorruptible comes as something of a nice surprise. Although it should be said that this hasn’t been said as praise, we should still take it that way.
The background is that the female workers there won a big court case. Apparently men working outside in all weathers were paid more than women working indoors with no heavy lifting. This was sexual discrimination and illegal. Thus the women’s pay has been upgraded to that of the men – and backdated.
At which point Glasgow City Council scoured the books to see which of the women hadn’t been paying their council tax. Quite a lot of them if we’re to have an actual policy about how the backpay should be used to pay off the backbills. This is, apparently, most unfair and, well, whaddayameanwe’vegottapay?
Women who spent years fighting wage discrimination at Glasgow city council could lose significant sums from their awards as the authority attempts to claw back council tax debts. As the first women start to receive their payouts, the council is seeking to recoup at least £10 million, and 200 women could lose their entire award because they are in council tax arrears. Campaigners said that many of the women would not have been in debt in the first place had they been paid fairly.
Stefan Cross, a lawyer from Action 4 Equality which represents thousands of women, said that some women had built up their hopes around the award only to see them dashed. “The principle of people paying for their debts we have no problem with,” he said. “Our problem is how they have gone about it, and their lack of flexibility and empathy with people in difficult circumstances. “They were incorruptible and dogmatic in the way they went about it.”
That is nice, isn’t it? That a one party fief local council is incorruptible? But you can understand the shock.