MPs who lose seat to see ‘winding-down’ payments doubled

MPs beaten at an election will be given four months' pay under the recommendations.

Westminster MPs who lose seat to see ‘winding-down’ payments doubled iStock

MPs who lose their seat at the next general election will receive double the financial support.

Winding-down payments designed to help departing MPs close their office and manage the departure of staff will also now be available to those who step down at the election.

MPs received two months’ wages after losing their seats at the previous general election, but the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) – which governs MPs’ expenses – has ruled that should be increased to four months.

The payments will not be given to MPs leaving outside of an election, meaning people like Tory former prime minister Boris Johnson, who resigned in June, will not be eligible.

IPSA said the decision was made because the time to fully close down an MP’s parliamentary and financial affairs is longer than the period covered.

The ruling said: “Former MPs will continue to have access to their normal budgets (pro-rated) for that four-month period, and they will continue to employ staff as needed to assist them in winding up their affairs.”

MPs who have served more than two years are also eligible for loss-of-office payments, with longer-serving MPs receiving larger amounts.

The payments, similar to redundancy packages, will be available to all eligible MPs who leave Parliament at the next election.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, criticised the move, saying: “Doubling golden goodbyes for MPs is a kick in the teeth for taxpayers.

“Hard-pressed Brits are already funding generous salaries, perks and pensions for elected officials.

“IPSA should be mindful of that when recommending more taxpayers’ money for politicians.”

More than 70 MPs have announced they will not stand again at the next general election.

Those standing down include Tory former cabinet ministers Dominic Raab, Matt Hancock and Sajid Javid, and the current Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. Labour former ministers Harriet Harman and Margaret Hodge have also said they plan to step down, as has the SNP’s former leader at Westminster Ian Blackford and select committee chairs Sir Bill Cash, William Wragg and Robin Walker.

Speaking on TalkTV, Tory MP Bob Seely said: “I don’t think people resigning should be getting a payout.

“But this is an independent body, I’m afraid to say we don’t get to vote on it unless somebody tells us that we do, and frankly, I am more concerned about dealing with my constituency casework.

“So I’m not particularly happy about this either because it just shows us in a bad light and despite the fact it’s an independent body, everyone is going to blame us for it.

“It really winds me up, frankly.”

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