A Liberal Democrat politician is in The Sun today…

… isn’t often a sentence that ends happily (they don’t seem to really like us over there, you know), except of course when it was praise for Ming Campbell’s use of Facebook (which, slightly bizarrely twice triggered the most positive words about Ming that The Sun published during his time as leader).

Today though brings another exception. Step forward Lord Oakeshott:

NOT a phrase often heard, but “well done to the Lib Dems” for asking the awkward question about how much civil servants have been paid in redundancies – a mere £500 million as it turns out. So hats off to Lib Dem treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott – a vociferous critic of MPs’ huge pensions.

There more on the story in most newspapers today, including The Times:

What do you give man in charge of Whitehall cuts? A £600,000 payoff
A top Treasury mandarin in charge of finding efficiency savings across Whitehall has walked off with a £600,000 payoff, it emerged last night.

John Oughton, the former head of the Office of Government Commerce, managed to negotiate a £612,000 package when he left the Treasury last April after deciding not to renew a three-year contract. The payment is part of a £432 million redundancy pot shared by 7,718 Whitehall officials who left their posts in the past three years. The average payout was about £60,000, after a drive to make £20 billion in efficiency savings…

Lord Oakeshott said: “The Government has thrown half a billion pounds in taxpayers’ cash to pay them not to work. Two treasury bigwigs really hit the jackpot, splitting over a million pounds between them. Did 67 senior managers at the Treasury really deserve golden goodbyes averaging over £220,000 each, on top of their generous pensions?” …

“The Home Office and MoD are totally incompetent for failing to give answers, when other big departments can give us these vital figures. No wonder the Home Office loses track of who to deport if it can’t even count its own redundancies,” he said.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • It is quite possible that paying these people to go was a good bargain for the public purse. But to spend half a billion and not be able to demonstrate some benefits from the money is a scandal.

    The point that smells worst in this is Defence and the Home Office do not know how much they have spent. This is basic, simple accounting. It suggests that any accounts that these Departments are producing covering their own staff and direct operations are useless. I trust that Lord Oakeshott will report them to the new Head of the National Audit Office.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 17th Jul - 11:20pm
    Teresa it has been party policy since the autumn of 2016, and what could possibly be the point of trying to alter it this autumn?...
  • User AvatarJoe Otten 17th Jul - 11:11pm
    Update: https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/labour-mp-dame-margaret-hodge-jeremy-corbyn-1.467296
  • User AvatarFraser Coppin 17th Jul - 10:59pm
    @Katharine Pindar - Freedom of movement CAN be controlled while still in the single market, as I said in the article, Liechtenstein already do it....
  • User AvatarRoland 17th Jul - 10:56pm
    @Dav - Surely the issue is whether it is 51% of the electorate or 51% of those who voted. As far as I'm concerned at...
  • User Avatarfrankie 17th Jul - 10:56pm
    Just in case anyone asks why Jo Swinson didn't vote Jo Swinson ‏Verified account @joswinson 3h3 hours ago Just how low will your govt stoop...
  • User Avatartpfk 17th Jul - 10:41pm
    I hope that the Lords might decide there's enough doubt about the vote to send it back. We'll see. Proxy votes / maternity cover is...