The Scottish Government announced the other day that the pay of Scotland's local councillors - of whom there are around 1200 or so - is to remain frozen for another year.
Now this is a sign of the times - and not good news generally speaking.
But before anyone claims this is down to selfless leadership or sacrifice - may I remind readers of what I said earlier this year in a post dated March 17th 2011 - Public Posturing Over Pay.
Yes in its written submission to the independent review body on councillors' pay COSLA - the 'voice' of Scottish local government - was arguing that councillors should receive a whopping 54% pay increase.
Now I'm all in favour of people being paid the appropriate rate for the job - to reflect their skills and responsibilities - including local councillors.
Yet a 54% pay increase does sound a tad excessive to me - don't you agree?
Public Posturing Over Pay (March 17th 2011)
Recent reports in the press suggest that COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) has been urging a policy of pay restraint - selflessness even - on the subject of councillors' pay.
Yet a closer look at an independent report on councillors remuneration - which is available on the Scottish government's web site - gives the game away.
In the section entitled - Evidence from COSLA - the following statements appear:
3.41 COSLA questioned whether the current salary was pitched at the right level given the level of responsibility placed on councillors and the range of competencies and skills required to do their job effectively......A senior councillor role was more demanding that that of a backbench MSP. They (COSLA) maintained their assertion that the level of salary should be linked to that of MSPs.
3.42 They (COSLA) did not consider it appropriate to link their pay scales to those of local government staff since councillors set the levels of pay increase for local government staff. They (COSLA) considered a basic salary of up to £25,000 would be fair recognising the difficult financial climate...
So there we have it in black and white - COSLA believes that senior councillors should be paid on a par with MSPs (currently £56,671) - and that even a basic, backbench councillor should be paid £25,000 a year.
How does that square with their public statements about pay restraint?
Because what seems to be happening is that COSLA is saying one in public - but behind closed doors is happy to make a case for a minimum salary of £25,000 a year - which would represent a whopping 54% increase in the present salary level of £16,234.