Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 5:13 pm ar 6 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Future of Work), Shadow Minister (Employment Rights and Protections) 5:13, 6 Chwefror 2024

If damaging the economy and people’s living standards, as well as degrading our health service, councils and other public services, were not enough, this Government have also enriched themselves and cost the taxpayer close to £1 million as a result of their sheer incompetence and infighting. We have found out that Ministers—some of whom were in post for only a matter of weeks, faced serious accusations or were ineligible through age—have received handsome sums of taxpayers’ money.

The question on my lips, and no doubt the lips of many of our constituents, is: why are Ministers given such special treatment? Just one day in post as a Cabinet Minister entitles an individual to £16,876 as a severance payment. For one day in the job for a Minister of State, it is £7,920. One day as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State gets them £5,594. These are vast sums of taxpayers’ money available only to a select few, and they come with absolutely no caveats for performance, conduct or length of service.

We do not disagree with the principle of loss of office payments to Ministers; like all workers, they should be entitled to some form of payment in the event of suddenly losing their job and income through no fault of their own. However, I suspect many of my constituents will not have much sympathy for that, given that those in such a position will still have their MP’s salary to fall back on, and we know that some Members have other sources of income. Those salaries are well in excess of what most of our constituents earn. Being a Minister is not easy, I am sure, but that should not distract from the fundamental issue that the treatment given to those in governmental positions is completely different from that given to the wider public—even the members of the public working in the very same Departments that those Ministers serve.