The Conservatives are pledging to cap six-figure redundancy pay-offs that are awarded to senior public sector workers if the party wins the general election in May.
The party’s manifesto will include a promise to legislate a cap of £95,000 on lay-off payments in the public sector, Treasury Minister Priti Patel said.
Pay-offs funded by the taxpayer have reached amounts of more than £450,000 in the Civil Service, over £500,000 in the NHS, and over £1 million in the BBC.
Three NHS managers reportedly received redundancy pay totalling almost £1 million even though they had continued to work for the state health service.
Staff earning less than £27,000 will be exempt from the cap in order to protect the very small number of low-earning, long-serving public servants who might otherwise have been caught.
“It’s not right that hard working taxpayers, many on low salaries, have to fund huge payouts when well-paid people get made redundant,” Ms Patel said.
“This goes to the heart of our long-term economic plan for Britain – it’s about backing hard-working taxpayers and making sure the economy is tilted in their favour; and it’s about saving money so we help bring down our deficit and make our economy more financially secure.”
For Labour, shadow health minister Jamie Reed said that the Conservatives should have acted earlier to deal with the issue.
“David Cameron can’t get away from the fact that this horse has already bolted. He wasted £1.6 billion on redundancy payouts to NHS managers as part of his reckless reorganisation,” he said.
“Frontline NHS staff found it galling that 4,000 managers who received pay-offs are now back in NHS jobs.”Reuse content