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In the Scottish Press Today

Your news summary podcast with DEADLINE NEWS every week day

Latest Episode: October 18th, 2015

AFTER revelations that the boss of the SSPCA has enjoyed a five-figure pay rise while rescue centres were closed it has now emerged that one of his assistants has enjoyed a similarly huge raise.

The SSPCA was slated last week after revelations that chief executive Stuart Earley was paid £216,000 in 2014 – up a third in just three years.

But it has now emerged that one of his assistants was also given a five-figure raise.

In 2013 the unnamed employee was paid between £60,000 and £69,999 – but last year it jumped into the bracket of £90,000 to £99,999.

The organisation recently had to close a sanctuary

The organisation recently had to close a sanctuary


His raise – by as much as 67% – has come as the charity shut down its only rescue centre in Shetland in order to cut down on costs.

And two other employees of the charity also received pay increases which took them into the £80,000 to £89,999 pay bracket over the same period.

The revelations have prompted other animal welfare campaigners to express concern – and Scottish Labour will now lodge a motion in parliament expressing their concern.

Daniel Craig, author of The Great Charity Scandal, said: “It is incredible that, at a time when we’re being told we have to cut spending to balance the budge and when so many ordinary people’s wages are hardly increasing, that some charity bosses feel it is acceptable to award themselves pay rises of 10% or more.”

The news comes in the wake of the revelation that the heads of ten of Scotland’s charities rake in £800,000 combined.

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said that charities should not pay “excessive” wages.

He said: “Donations are made for the purposes of the charity, not for the enrichment of those who work for them.”

The party motion – to be lodged at Holyrood today (MONDAY) says that it is “shocked by the excessive level of salary of the chief executive officers of some national charities such as the SSPCA.”

It also makes a point of noting that the SSPCA relies on donations from people with low incomes.

But SSPCA trustee Alistair Lawrie defended the charity – saying it was “well-run” and “efficient” with “low management costs.”

He said that 83p of every £1 donated is spent on helping animals.

He added: “The truest test of any charity is how much money is spent on the charitable activities and helping the animals, or people, that the charity is set up to support.”

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Business Pages Round-Up

Latest Episode: February 4th, 2011

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Quiet News Day

Scotland's leading journalism, PR & social media podcast with hosts Scott Douglas & Shaun Milne every Wednesday

A PET llama living on the windswept north east coast of Scotland has been declared the oldest in Britain.

Paddy the llama, who was 25 this year, has lived happily in a muddy field in Cullen, Morayshire since 1989.

His owner Helen Bream bought him after seeing an advert in their local chip shop when he was just a few months old.


But they were astonished after officials confirmed this week he is the oldest living llama in the UK.


Paddy is considered 100 years old in llama terms, as there are 4 llama years to every 1 human year.





He lives in a field at the couple’s pet shop and boarding kennel business with a white pony called Thelwell. The unlikely pals have been together for most of their lives.

Vivienne Ives, registrar of the British Llama Society, confirmed last night:  “He’s the oldest llama that I know  of. It’s a rarity for them to get to that age.  Llamas go into the elderly category at age 12 – I don’t know why one would be the exception, maybe it’s genetics. “





Helen, 66, said: “We don’t do anything really. I just feed him and brush him. I honestly don’t know

why he’s lived so long.


“He’s part of the family – he’s the same age as my youngest son. He’s just always been with us.


He’s only seen a vet once, when he was castrated.”


Despite Paddy’s advanced age, he  lives outdoors and endures the harsh Scottish weather all

year round.


He eats an unenviable diet of alfalfa, grass and spiky gorse bushes harvested from around his pen.  His owners say he is shy and only spits occasionally, when the pony steals his food.


Although he is missing several teeth and suffers from arthritis, Paddy is in perfect health and has only seen a vet once in his life.


Paddy is the star attraction for customers at the pet shop, but is wary of adults and only allows children to pet him.


Mrs Bream said: “He’s quite shy and reserved really. He lets children pat him, but he backs away from adults.


“We won’t be throwing him a birthday party, but he likes eating spiky things so he will probably get a holly branch to celebrate.”


Specialist llama vet Janet Nuttall, of Heathfield Vets in Heathfield, Sussex, said: “There is no doubt that a few individuals have exceptional life spans but late teens or early 20s is the upper age limit often quoted. A llama of 25 years old is roughly equivalent to a centenarian in human terms.”


Despite his status, Paddy’s title as the UK’s oldest llama could yet be challenged  – only half of an estimated 3,200 llamas living in the UK are registered.


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