Monday, 20 June 2011

Mileage rates must reflect the cost of using car

#uNDC11 Local Government delegates backed a call from Aberdeenshire and Cymru/Wales to continue to campaign for mileage allowances for members across the UK that properly reflect the cost of using their car on employers’ business.

UNISON will also lobby for a fair fuel regulator to ensure that when there are spikes in oil prices, the fuel duty will go down.

Aberdeenshire’s Tricia Morrison said, “This is having a major impact on all our members who use their cars for work and to provide vital services” - lifelines like home care and social work.

“We are particularly concerned for low paid members who pay a larger portion of their salary on fuel costs.”

“This is not a green issue”, added Tricia, “Our members in rural areas need their cars to do their jobs. They don’t have a choice”.

“Asking low paid workers to pay increasing fuel costs from their salary is a pay cut - and that will increase inequality”. Scotland’s Mark Ferguson, Speaking for the SGE, told Conference, “Why should our low paid members subsidise employers when the real cost gets hidden?”

However he also noted that negotiating a fairer scheme nationally would be hard, given the employers’ ‘bargain basement’ agenda. Highland’s John Gibson told delegates that some home carers in his area do over 16,000 miles a year.

“In Wick petrol currently costs £1.53 a litre. I’m currently subsidising my employer by just over £1,000 by using my own car for work. But yet, I have no option”.

To laughter from delegates, John added, “Finally, as a branch, we have to apologise to Conference. “Our MP is Danny Alexander! We promise that we will do all we can to change this travesty of justice!”.

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