Clegg: quitting MPs should say goodbye to their golden goodbyes

The BBC has the story:

MPs who stand down after expenses revelations should not be entitled to large tax free pay-offs, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has said. Since stories about expenses claims began, 13 MPs have said they will stand down at the election, although three say they are going for health reasons. They will be entitled to a pay-off worth up to a year’s salary of £64,000 depending on their age and experience.

Mr Clegg said there was “no reason” some should get the tax free reward. Under current rules, Conservative MP Julie Kirkbride could receive a pay off of about £32,000 while Labour’s Margaret Moran could get £54,000 – by way of the “resettlement grant” which is only paid to MPs who leave at a general election.

Here’s Nick’s statement in full:

I can see no reason why an MP who is sacked or decides to stand down should be rewarded with a big, tax-free, lump sum payment. This money is intended to help people who are suddenly voted out of office, not those who decide to call it a day after being caught with their fingers in the till.

“Anyone else who decides to quit their job of their own accord can make arrangements for themselves. MPs should get a leaving card, not a cheque for tens of thousands of pounds.

“This is yet another flaw in the current system that needs to be sorted. I will be writing today to Sir Christopher Kelly and Gordon Brown demanding that it is fixed at the earliest opportunity.”

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  • Why wont it wash? Can you prove he didn’t.

  • Tyke – I am notm privy to Mr Clegg’s or any other MEP’s (including my cousin’s) accounting methods – and neither are you. So until evidence is dug up; the whiff may stay wispy.

    The British people will make their minds up at the polling booth; next week and when the GE comes. What you may think smells like a scandal doesn’t unless somebody can actually present evidence in my eyes. But then, like more than a few on the rounds, people are getting tired of the entire saga. They have basically come to the conclusion (sadly) that it is a plague on everyone’s houses, moats, flats and duckponds.

  • What news on Lord Rennard,is Clegg going to make him reimburse the taxpayer?

    Or were the ‘ton of bricks’ just for the camera?

  • Tyko – havent you already posted this comment on these forums? Are you suffering from memory loss or something worse?

  • Paul Griffiths 30th May '09 - 10:35am

    “MPs should get a leaving card, not a cheque for tens of thousands of pounds.”

    Shout out to Clegg’s speechwriter. Nice work.

  • Nick is SO right – but it won’t happen. Conway, on Panorama this week, stated that he was staying until the next election to “get my entitlements” (or words to that effect).
    Sort of mirrors Speaker Martin who said that he didn’t come into politics NOT to collect what was owed to him!!! Owed? By my calculation he had been little more than 33 when he entered politics. Before that a sheet metal worker and then a union official. How did THAT entitle him? Same for MANY MPs.

    Having said that Nick misses a trick. Not to pre-judge but it USED to be that a public sector worker found guilty of certain crimes, including fraud had his/her pension entitlement taken away. (regularly read about Police Officers who resign before being sacked – simple for them. It protects their rather generous pension since actions are normally dropped)
    Now the MP pension scheme is,apart from City fatcats, THE best in the country – 50% after 20 years service. My own MP pointed out that he contributed more. True but on pure figures I could totally demolish that argument – AND his claim that he has no security of employment. NO-ONE does. Yet a single 5-year term earns an eventual pension circa £16k a year for life!!!! Others would wish to be so lucky.

    So Nick join Cameron in demanding prosecutions and up the ante by also demanding forfeiture of pension entitlements. The public are baying for blood. Avoid the blood and deliver justice instead. PROVE that cheats never prosper.
    I am not currently a Lib-Dem supporter. I COULD be if Nick proves his mettle on this and the Lib-Dems approached the issue of the EU with less blind faith. REMEMBER 80% of people want OUT of Europe other than for trade. I was old enough to vote in the 70’s. I DID NOT vote for a Federal Europe and I have never since been asked.ASK me

  • Correction. A single 5 year term earns £8k a year and not £16k (got carried away!) But even £8k a year would be a fortune for many pensioners some of whom likely earned not much more than that for actual work.

  • I see the point, but in the hysteria I think we should be careful not to also start attacking the ‘winding up allowance’, a large amount of which usually goes to MPs staff?

    The staff have done nothing wrong, are losing their jobs because of their boss’ greed, and have no prospects in a recession with only work for a discredited MP on their CV, and people seem to be suggesting they should not receive a penny as they are thrown out on the street. Seems pretty mean to me.

  • Jeremy Bowen 30th May '09 - 3:03pm

    Force those who have wrongly drawn expenses or pushed their claims to the limit, out of Parliament and do it NOW. As the then Mr Churchill used to write on memos sent to his staff, “ACTION THIS DAY”. Do not allow them to stay to collect another year’s salary and boost their pensions, all at our expense. Do not allow them the termination payment, also at our expense. There mus be no automatic elevations to the House of Lords because they have demonstrated that they are undeserving of titles. If they are elevated in Gordon Brown’s final honours list, he will go on record with Harold Wilson as having ennobled a bunch of unworthies, who will be able once again to draw an allowance of nearly £300 a day of our money, just for turning up there as well as a generous expense allowance. Let them look for gainful employment, as the rest of us must do.

  • Mr. Feathers 30th May '09 - 6:00pm

    “Future LPUK MPs will not take part in that scheme for this very reason”

    There won’t be any LURPAK MPs. That’s why most “libertarians” use entryist tactics within the Tories or this party, because their ideas haven’t got enough merit to win people over in their own right.

  • Good stuff, keep it up 🙂

  • Jeremy Bowen 31st May '09 - 9:58am

    When will there be a full exposure of the expenses drawn by members of the House of Lords? Is it not time for Baroness Uddin, out of decency, if she has any, resigned from the Lords following the exposure of her expense fraud? (Spell check very appropriately, suggests an alternative for Uddin as “Undid”! Spell check got it exactly right!

  • John Naismith 31st May '09 - 2:26pm

    One word – Rennard.

    Until you deal with that, you’re just another party spinning bullshit.

    You either mean what you say or you don’t. Clegg quite obviously thinks the same as all politicians – one rule for us……

  • Ian Moulding 2nd Jun '09 - 5:37am

    Thanks Nick and his team for high lighting another example of picking the tax payers pockets. I had a suspicion that there was another reason to “quit at the next election” for the Dirty bakers dozen. I am sure there is something up GB’s sleeve besides his arm when it came to these MP’s, in the New Labour Party, for continuing their vile trade of greed.

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