Ex-energy secretary, Chris Huhne, is if he wishes to accept it, entitled under current legislation, to a severance payment of more than £17,000.
Under the terms of the 1991 Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act, Mr Huhne is allowed three months-worth of his £68,827 annual ministerial pay (or £17,207).
This is, presumably, like other redundancy payments made to "ordinary, decent, hard-working families up and down the country" to compensate them for being dismissed from their posts through no fault of their own, and to help them to come to terms with life on the generous £67 a week that the government decrees sufficient for said "ordinary, decent, ex-hard-working people up and down the country" to live on.
Of course, these "ordinary, decent, ...well, you know how it goes by now" would have to have been working for over 2 years in the post; they would only get (at Huhne's age) 1.5 weeks' money for every full year they had worked there (so 1 week's money or around £2,000), and it wouldn't apply if they had only lost a part of their job, and still had a salary of £66,000 to fall back on... or if they had resigned. So actually he wouldn't get squat.
However, we all know only too well that Secretaries of State and "ordinary, decent, hard-working families up and down the country" have about as much in common as 'the Big Society' and oh, I dunno, ...a prime ministerial legacy?
Mr Huhne may not accept the money. But whether or not he does, should not the conditions for ministers more accurately mirror those for all these people that they happily use as examples when they want to make a point, and should they not also reflect the times that we live in.
After all, although we rarely hear anything of it these days, we are all in this together, aren't we?