Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Failed Minister's severance pay is not a private matter

If it isn't bad enough that MPs fiddle expenses and the like, the following response from Jonathan Shaw MP at the DWP to a question from Steve Webb MP has just proved the contempt Government have for detailing where taxpyaers money goes to the taxpayer.

Steve Webb asked a pretty straightforward and simple question, of "how much each Minister who has left his Department since May 1997 received in severance pay". In response Shaw said,
Under exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, details of individual severance payments are not disclosed in order to protect the privacy of the individual concerned.
Bugger the "privacy of the individual" they are a public figure doing a public job in a public office. How much they got as a golden goodbye for being fired, from me, the taxpayer, is a matter of public interest.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Is it a matter of public record. The policy should be (is?) a matter of public record, but how it applies in the case of any individual should be a different matter.

This is also not the same as expenses claims, which have to be seen to comply with the rules, so there is some verification required.