Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brown confirms his support for "rewards for failure"

My general disgust at the way Ministers who fail and get fired are given severance pay is not exactly unknown, especially in these days where we keep hearing about how we must not give "rewards for failure". However, it has come to light that the Prime Minister only believes there should be no "rewards for failure" and that payouts should be clawed back by Government when it is private individuals rather than Government ones.

Yesterday in Parliament, the old fashioned lefty Labour MP, Gordon prentice, asked the Prime Minister
"if he will make it his policy to reclaim redundancy payments made to Ministers leaving the Government if they are subsequently appointed to a ministerial position in the same Parliament."
Quite reasonable really, why should someone get a whopping great payout for cocking up when they get demoted, and then be allowed to keep it when they are given a job in Government once again? Gordon Brown's response was effectively "No" as he said,

Severance pay is payable in accordance with section 4 of the Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991.
The problem here is that the Act he refers to was written during the last Tory administration when the "ministerial comeback", and especially "Cabinet comeback" was a highly uncommon thing.

That practice, where if you got demoted, or, for example, resigned, was one that used to mean your high office political career was pretty much finished, then came 1997 and it all changed.

responding as he has, Gordon Brown has essentially made clear that he thinks that generous taxpayer funded redundancy to ministers when they are fired is perfectly acceptable, and he really doesn't think they should have to give it back if he decides he wants to use them again and give them a second chance.

5 comments:

Oldrightie said...

Such an honest, noble, decent son of the Manse?

Anonymous said...

I don't know how "uncommon" a thing it was though. Do you have any evidence to support that assertion. Off the top of my head I can think of Oily Duncan, who resigned after a bit of financial jiggery-pokery, and Cecil Parkinson, who resigned after a bit of jigging and poking both returning to Government.

Comparative statistics might help to back up your point.

Norman said...

A more meaningful would be the increase in in "buggering up".

Not a sheep said...

Maybe it could be called the Mandelson clause.

nick said...

Heseltine did the "cabinet comeback", resigning over Westland then returning under Major having lost the leadership election. Given his substantial personal wealth I doubt he would have needed any kind of severance package.
I can't think of any who resigned from the cabinet twice like Blunkett or Mandelson.