Anger at £1m ‘Golden Handshakes’ to former Labour ministers

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Opponents have reacted with anger after it emerged that outgoing Labour ministers have been paid over £1 million in pay offs after the party lost the UK general election.

The golden goodbyes were revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question asked by SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire Pete Wishart.


Opponents have reacted with anger after it emerged that outgoing Labour ministers have been paid over £1 million in pay offs after the party lost the UK general election.

The golden goodbyes were revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question asked by SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire Pete Wishart.

The cash, which includes over £51,000 to the Scotland office alone – the ministry of former Secretary of State Jim Murphy – was paid in the form of severance pay to the Labour MPs.

Cabinet Minister Francis Maude confirmed that outgoing Labour ministers received a total of £1,051,202 in severance pay.  Mr Maud revealed that, under current arrangements, the former Ministers were entitled to receive one-quarter of their annual claimed salary as a severance payment.

Mr Wishart challenged Scottish Labour MPs, who were Ministers in the last government, to reveal how much they had received.

Commenting, Mr Wishart said:
“At a time when workers across the public sector are paying the price of Labour’s mismanagement of the economy, these golden goodbyes are the final insult.
 
“Voters kicked Labour out of office, and these payments are essentially a reward for failure. May 6th was a polling day pay day for Labour Ministers – collecting hefty pay outs as they headed straight to the opposition benches.
 
“In these uncertain times, as job cuts loom across the public sector, it will not sit well with many that ex-ministers were feathering their nests.”
 
Mr Wishart added:
“In the interests of transparency, those Scottish Labour MPs who took this reward should say how much they have received.”

There will be anger that, in this current climate of cuts and savings, handouts have been given to former ministers, many of whom are still serving MPs earning in excess of £65,000.

The previous Labour government had sought to cut the severance pay of public sector workers, something the current Tory/Lib Dem coalition is also keen to drive through.

Total severance payments to all eligible former Ministers in each Department

Department £

  • Business, Innovation and Skills 54,626
  • Cabinet Office 37,464   
  • Communities and Local Government 55,339 
  • Culture, Media and Sport 27,302   
  • Children, Schools and Families 75,870   
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 37,464   
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office 37,464   
  • Health 75,870   
  • Home Office 73,421   
  • International Development 37,464   
  • Ministry of Defence 55,546   
  • Ministry of Justice 53,832   
  • Northern Ireland Office 10,162   
  • Scotland Office 51,448   
  • Transport 52,177   
  • HM Treasury (1)170,146   
  • Treasury Solicitors 44,884   
  • Wales Office 27,302   
  • Work and Pensions 73,421

(1) Includes severance payments made to Government Whips in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

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