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.