£1m severance payout for ex-Labour ministers

Former Labour ministers were handed more than £1 million in severance pay at the General Election, official figures showed today.

A total of £1,051,202 was awarded to ministers when they left office, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said.

Ministers are entitled to receive a severance payment equal to three months of their annual ministerial salary.

Under Labour, ministers' pay was made up of an MPs' salary of £64,766 plus a top-up which depended on seniority within the government.

Cabinet ministers were entitled to an extra £78,575, while ministers of state received an extra £40,759 and junior ministers £30,937.

Ministers in the Lords are not entitled to parliamentary salaries but Cabinet ministers received £106,653, ministers of state £83,275 and junior ministers £72,529.

In a written reply to Pete Wishart (SNP, Perth and N Perthshire), Mr Maude said severance payments to ministers were separate from resettlement grants available to MPs when they left the House of Commons.

He said: "Severance payments for paid government ministers and other office holders are governed by legislation, specifically Section 5 of the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991.

"Those individuals who leave office under the age of 65 and who do not take up another relevant office within three weeks (six weeks for Opposition office holders at the time of the election) are entitled to receive one quarter of their annual claimed salary as a severance payment."

:: Total severance payments to all eligible former ministers in each 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 (including severance payments made to government whips in the Commons and Lords) £170,146

Treasury Solicitors £44,884

Wales Office £27,302

Work and Pensions £73,421

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