By Bill Heaney
The Liberal Democrats have called for taxpayer-funded handouts for disgraced former ministers to be scrapped, as analysis reveals £530,000 was paid out in ministerial severance payments over the past year.
The Liberal Democrat research shows that ministers in the Department for Local Government and Levelling Up received £77,654 in severance payments in the past year, more than any other department.
Education ministers claimed £49,495 severance payments in the past year. Department for Transport ministers claimed £41,575.
Other former ministers to have received severance payments include Liz Truss (£18,860), Boris Johnson (£18,860), Kwasi Kwarteng (£16,876), and Chris Pincher (£7,920).
In a speech to the party’s Autumn Conference today, Liberal Democrat MP Wendy Chamberlain will call for a major overhaul of ministerial severance pay.
Liz Truss, Wendy Chamberlain and Boris Johnston
The proposals would prevent MPs who have resigned for breaking the Ministerial Code from claiming the severance pay. The proposals would also ensure that ministers have to serve in post for a reasonable period of time, and that payouts cannot be claimed if they are reappointed to Government within a year.
Under the current rules, Ministers can claim severance pay of up to almost £17,000, and Prime Ministers up to £18,660 – regardless of their length of time in post and the manner of their departure.
Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP commented: “It’s an outrage that while families struggle to pay their bills, Liz Truss, Boris Johnson and other disgraced Conservative ministers have profited from their own failure.
“The cost of Conservative chaos is piling up for families across the country.
“The public will never forgive this shambolic Conservative government.
“Conservative ministers crashed the economy and then were rewarded for it. It is time to change the rules over ministerial severance pay for good to end these revolving door payouts – enough is enough.”
MP’s entitlement on severance pay can be found in this report
Department Severance 2022/23 What it could pay for
Liz Truss £18,660 26,600 lettuces
Treasury £45,000 9,800 calculators
Transport £41,575 14,850 typical bus fares
Cabinet Office £75,585 25,000 boxes of pens
DEFRA £34,318 52,000 pints of milk
Defence £7,920 200 pairs of army boots
Home Office £52,858 3,795 hours of police time
Levelling Up £77,654 Monthly council tax of 476 families
Education £49,495 19,500 free school meals
Foreign Office £21,433 260 new passports
International Trade £27,026 6,006 pork chop packets
Department for Work
and Pensions £34,318 Weekly state pension of 168 pensioners
Scotland Office £11,186 466 bottles of Scotch Whisky
Wales Office £33,752 4,788 packets of Welsh lamb chops