The Community Action Party candidate for Salford Mayor Michael Moulding slams his election opponents for trying to deceive the Salford electorate.
All Mayoral candidates were asked to complete a Mayoral Challenge by the one and only Salford Star were all candidates were given 30 questions to answer testing candidates on their knowledge, experience and values.
Only Michael Moulding and five other candidates participated and therefore Mike slams the other four for not participating saying "They have failed the challenge."
However, Michael Moulding also criticises two of the candidates in relation to their answers and Mike believes there is strong evidence that the Salford electorate are being deceived.
Salford Star asks "If elected Mayor what salary would you take ?"
Michael Moulding, Community Action Party candidate for Salford Mayor has given a guarantee that he will ask for no more than a £35,000 PA salary, albeit he can recive over twice that amount if elected.
But Mike remains disatisfied with answers given by other candidates and he genuinely believes the electorate are being deceived.
Firstly, one candidate says as he intends to cut Council Tax by 50% he is value for a salary of £72,500 PA. The Community Action party says "What if he doesnt cut Council Tax by 50% ? Does he still get the £72,500 ?
Mike Moulding says "Constitutionally this candidate cannot cut Council Tax in half because they have NO councillors and have only four standing in the local elections. A Mayor in order to get their policies through Council unchallenged need at least 20 Councillors to have any chance. Therefore, even if all four of their candidates were successful and I dont believe a single councillor candidate of theirs will be successful, they still would not have the numbers required to impose such a cut in Council Tax. He wont be able to achieve it."
Mike continues "I ask myself does this candidate lack intelligence to understand the procedures of the Council or is he trying to decive the electorte when he says he will cut Council Tax. Any decision of this magnitude needs the support of at least one-third of the Council in order for it not to be blocked. Thats at least 20 Councillors. They cannot get it through and he knows this and therefore he may be trying to deceive ?"
The Community Action Party also believe that any referendum will be blocked by Council in the same way as a referendum involves the whole city and therefore the referendum again would have to be given the go-ahead by Council. Mike Moulding says "They just cannot do it."
Therefore, Michael Moulding gives his challenge to this candidate who says hes value for money because he will cut the tax by the amount he cannot "If you are value for cutting Council Tax by 50% as your excuse to receive £72,500.00 PA and you dont achieve the cut by 2013 what are you worth then ?"
In completing the Mayoral Challenge an ex-MP says that he will not set his salary but will involve an independant to set a salary scale for Mayor and that his experiences in the expenses scandal for members of Parliament, albeit he says he came through "unscathed" but "left a scar."
Michael Moulding says "The candidate concerned has ducked the question. I could have easily said that I will ask someone from outside to set my rate costing Salford Taxpayers even more money, and do this knowing I would easily get more than the £35,000 I have committed myself to."
The Community Action Party notes that whilst this candidate had not become embroiled in the MP's expenses scandal unlike his colleague Hazel Blears (MP for Salford & Eccles but lets not forget Swinton) we believe as MP he was rewarded very handsomely indeed.
The Community Action Party candidate for Salford Mayor Michael Moulding says "A Salford Advertiser article dated November 2nd 2006 claimed that the then Eccles MP topped the Salford list with expenses amounting to £139,736 for the previous year as well as a salary of over £60,000 which means in that year his total cost was near a staggering £200,000. If you averaged that sum over his tenure as MP this candidate could easily have reached a staggering sum of £2 million pounds."
Mike Moulding says "Not bad for a trade unionist!"
Mike Moulding has limited himself to £35,000 PA and no more. Mike says "I know I could have more if I wanted to but I dont. My public service record is a proud one and second to no-one. I campaigned for a directly-elected Mayor because I want a better Salford. I paid for the campaign out of my own pocket. I have done thousands of hours of voluntary work all in an unpaid capaicity and probably costs me thousands to do it. Its called public service."
"What happened to the concept that you do things for public service with little or no reward. The only reward I have asked for is to cover my living expenses and a little disposal income to help me rejuvinate myself for the hard work ahead."
Mike concludes "These candidates will not be value for your tax money. I am confident I can do the job of Mayor as good as if not much better than any of the other candidates and I will do the job because I believe in public service."
The Community Action Party asks the electorate to treat the non-participants with extreme caution as their failure to respond could indicate that their asking price for such a role may be even more than the candidates that had the guts to respond. END