A FURIOUS row broke out between Labour and Tory members of Hyndburn Council over plans to increase expenses by 26 per cent.
Councillors are currently paid a basic allowance of £3,217 a year to carry out their duties, which does not include other expenses given to them.
A controversial plan to raise this to more than £4,000 a year was accepted at a council meeting on Tuesday.
A decision was also taken to compile a list showing the number of meetings councillors attended and to scrap the 75 per cent rule which meant that councillors had to do a quarter of their work for free.
But the move came under fire from some Labour councillors who said it would be hypocritical of them to take the pay increase after years of making cut-backs across the borough.
Councillor Graham Jones said: "We have seen so many frontline services suffer cutbacks including Dial-a-Ride.
"This idea is disgusting. Councillors have awarded themselves a 26 per cent increase and for what? For running a failing council. The Tories should be ashamed of themselves for bringing this forward."
As councillors traded insults during the hour-long debate, he later attacked council leader Peter Britcliffe over his expense-claiming and said he should "get a job".
Councillor Claire Hamilton said: "It seems extremely strange that this increase is being brought in when we are all aware of the council's financial position. It is ridiculous and voting for this increase will only prove that the council is self-serving."
Councillor Dave Parkins suggested that the council should freeze expenses until next year - which was not adopted by the council.
He said: "For years we have made cutbacks and I feel we should lead by example. This rise that has been suggested is just not on."
But furious Councillor Britcliffe defended the rises, saying they were only meant to bring expenses in line with the minimum wage.
Pointing out that new Labour leader Councillor David Myles supported the rises, he said: "These proposals are not mine, they had already gone to the leader's policy board. Councillor Jones did not speak at that meeting and I find his comments hypocritical.
"I have said before that I will not introduce something like this if it does not have cross-party support. People have this idea that councillors are dripping with ermine and riding around in Rolls Royces but it is not true.
"Unless we want a council full of retired wealthy people we must pay allowances. The criticisms of this are typical of the sort of cheap politics which some councillors like to play.''