Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 3:56 pm ar 6 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Minister without Portfolio 3:56, 6 Chwefror 2024

No, because we are talking about waste. We are talking about appropriate measures taking place and this faux emergency legislation that the right hon. Lady wants to bring in.

Turning to ministerial severance pay more generally, it is important to note that this is the long-standing policy that successive Governments from both sides of the House have retained. The reason they have retained it that the principle of paying severance remains sound. The Prime Minister, in his constitutional role as a principal adviser to the sovereign, can recommend the appointment and removal of Ministers at any time. This flexibility, necessary as it is within our political system, means that having a reasonable severance pay policy to reflect the uncertain nature of ministerial office has had wide support from across the House since its introduction.

Members will be aware that similar arrangements are in place for Members of Parliament, who also hold the status of officeholder. In certain circumstances, Members of Parliament who lose a seat at a general election are eligible to receive a loss of office payment. The eligibility for the loss of office payment is determined by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which is responsible for setting and regulating MPs’ salaries, pensions, business costs and expenses. Severance payments recognise the unpredictable nature of ministerial office. The fact that a Minister can lose their office with no notice when the Government or a Prime Minister change will inevitably lead to a substantial increase in the money paid out in that financial year—