Labour ministers who have been fired or left their jobs have enjoyed £1.4m in severance pay, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.
When MPs are appointed as ministers they get an extra salary and pension in addition to that earned as an MP. When they are fired in reshuffle, forced to leave under a cloud or resign, ministers get a severance payment equivalent to one quarter of their final salary, provided they do not take another ministerial appointment within three months.
Nearly 100 ex-ministers have benefited from the handouts. High profile beneficiaries include Peter Mandelson (twice), Charles Clarke, Alan Milburn, David Blunkett, Peter Hain, Margaret Beckett, Estelle Morris (twice), Lord Sainsbury, and the recently resigned James Purnell, Hazel Blears and Caroline Flint.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Webb said:
“People will be shocked to learn that former ministers get these pay-offs even when they have been sacked or left of their own free will.
“Ministers should not be rewarded for failure.
“While thousands are losing their jobs, failed ministers get a huge payout on top of their salary as MPs. This can’t go on.”