Another nose found in the trough.
THE chief of Police Scotland receives up to £3000 a year to pay for his house but with his mortgage already paid there have been calls for the benefit to be axed
SCOTLAND’S police chief receives up to £3000 a year to pay for his house – even though his mortgage is already paid off.
Yesterday, politicians and unions called for the perk to be axed.
Chief constable Sir Stephen House – who earns around £280,000 a year – had the loan on his £265,000 home in Helensburgh discharged last month.
Police officers who joined the force before 1994 are eligible for rent or housing allowance, but the older, better-paid staff benefit most.
Every assistant chief constable received a payout last year, but only 20 per cent of constables got the cash.
When House led Strathclyde Police, he pocketed £12,000 from the public purse between 2007 and 2012, and £6088 to offset tax.
As top cop with the single force he shared around £6000 with a legacy chief constable in 2013-14.
Asked last year whether it was fair to receive mortgage help while police staff lost jobs, House said: “I took the package as offered to me and I’m not about to renegotiate it.
“It’s just another line in the pay packet.”
Lib Dem justice spokesman Alison McInnes MSP said: “If the chief constable is receiving a housing allowance then it should be used for housing.
“If these payments are effectively a bonus, they should be described as such.”
Tory MSP John Lamont added: “It’s shocking that he is receiving something for nothing at a time when Police Scotland is under severe financial pressure.”
And Gerry Crawley, from trade union Unison, said: “To oversee the loss of 1300 support staff jobs over the past two years is unacceptable.
“This allowance is outdated and should be stopped immediately.”
In response to the controversy, Chief Superintendent Andy Morris said: “The payment is not dependent on the officer having a mortgage or not.”