Spend ‘stalls pay claims’

EDINBURGH city council has been accused of spending almost £185,000 to delay settling “legitimate” equal pay claims.

More than £4 million has already been spent by Scottish local authorities, which still have to deal with about 32,000 claims, according to figures obtained by the Conservatives.

About 3500 new claims were made in the past 18 months, the figures show.

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Margaret Mitchell, the party’s local government spokeswoman, said: “It is quite simply not sustainable that Scotland’s councils are continuing the scandal of spending such enormous sums of money, delaying the legitimate settlement of equal pay claims.

“Local authorities should be facing up to this and negotiating a solution, not spending millions booting the matter into the long grass.

“It has been evident for many years now that this is an issue which must be addressed.”