|Oh yeah, nice one. I should have done this more often!|
We were flooded with letters and emails when IDS resigned his cabinet ministerial role as "demon in charge" with the Department of Work and Pensions. How would he cope, you demanded, without his salary? Would he be required to attend one of his own job centres and maybe even be sent for work experience at B&M Slave Labour Stores?
Well, when I say flooded I mean there were some letters and emails.
OK, when I say some, I mean there were none that actually addressed this issue or even mentioned him, but I know that you were all worried sick, because you are that kind of people.
So I'm here to set your mind at ease.
Ordinarily, when ordinary people leave their ordinary jobs as a result of ordinary redundancy... that is to say, through no fault of their own and involuntarily... they are entitled to compensation in the form of "redundancy payment". Clearly this is to help them, left without gainful employment to manage until they can find some other way of earning a living. Of course if they leave of their own accord they get diddly squat and are refused any benefits.
|Oh yes, Betsy and I can have a right good holiday on this, just not in Europe!|
For government ministers, who already have another, rather well paid job, you would expect that to be different. And rightly so. After all, most people in the country would find living on £74,962 to be fairly easy, not to say luxurious.
But here's the rub. The difference isn't marked in quite the way you would expect.
No, you see, if a minister leaves his post, whether this is because he has been sacked for incompetence, or because he has annoyed his boss, the prime minister, say by being a little over ambitious, or indeed if he's been caught visiting places he shouldn't, possibly with his trousers round his knees, and brought the party into disrepute (if that is even possible any more), or even if he leaves voluntarily, as in IDS's case, because the poor soul cannot bear to hurt the sick and unemployed any more (even if this is a sudden aversion to sadism), he still gets compensation. Great terms and conditions, eh? I wonder who thought them up. Ah, oh yes....
So anyway, to return to my original theme, Mr Duncan Smith's welfare, I know that you will be relieved to be informed that he is in line to receive a *princely sum somewhere in the region of £34,000 for his opportunistic resignation, while he continues to be paid £75,000 pa for his work as a constituency MP.
Oh, la belle vie...
* When I use the term "princely sum", I exclude from that princes of the UK royal family, to whom this is a "niggardly sum" that wouldn't cover a down payment on a helicopter, and is not to be picked up, should it to fall on the floor. Just making that clear.