Cameron showers allies with £900K taxpayer-funded ‘golden goodbyes’

Former Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron. © Suzanne Plunkett
Ex-Prime Minister David Cameron splurged almost £1 million of public money on “golden goodbyes” for loyal ministers and aides, it has emerged.

Faithful colleagues and advisers, including former Chancellor George Osborne, two other ministers and 21 aides, received payoffs of up to £70,000 (US$91,000) each, according to reports.

An investigation by the Sunday Times estimates the total bill could surpass £900,000.

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Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron. © Toby Melville


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has lashed out at the former PM, branding his behavior “cronyism.”

Cameron announced his resignation following the British public’s decision to leave the EU in the June 23 Brexit referendum.

Weeks later, he quietly increased the severance package for aides from four-and-a-half months to six months’ pay.

Cabinet Office chief John Manzoni attempted to stop the rise, but was overruled.

Simon Chase, a private secretary for the PM, wrote to Manzoni insisting it was right to increase the aides’ severance packages.

The termination of their employment has been sudden and unexpected,” Chase wrote.

He [Cameron] does not wish to exacerbate an already difficult and uncertain time for them by inferring that their long and loyal service is not fully recognized.”

Opposition leader Corbyn has called for a ban on giving honours to serving politicians after the PM handed out peerages and honorable titles to former aides, advisers and ministers.

Cameron’s cronyism has been quite appalling,” Corbyn said.

Honors appear to be linked to donations to political parties and personal service to members of his family. I would also say that serving politicians should not be given honors because it’s honor enough to be elected to public office.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the resignation honors list “would embarrass a mediaeval court.”

He is not the first prime minister to leave office having rewarded quite so many friends, but he should be the last. For the reputation of future leaders, such appointments should be handed over to an independent panel.



Fat cats awarded £5.5mn pay rise in 2015… while average UK pay languishes at £26.5k

Britain’s top executives saw their pay rise by more than 10 percent in 2015 to an average £5.5 million, despite the stock market performing badly and average wages lagging far behind.

Fat cats at companies on Britain’s biggest share index, the FTSE 100, now typically earn on average 140 times more than their employees, when pensions and bonuses are factored in.

The highest-paid executives are also exclusively men, according the State of Pay report by the High Pay Centre, a think tank which monitors income distribution in big business.

Leading corporate bosses saw their pay increase by an average £5.48 million (US$7.18 million) last year, while the average worker saw wages go up by just 2 percent to £26,500.

In 2010, the same fat cats saw their wages increase £4.1 million, while in 2014 they were given a £5 million boost.

There is apparently no end yet in sight for the rise and rise of chief executive pay packages,” said High Pay Centre director Stefan Stern.

In spite of the occasional flurry from more active shareholders, boards continue to award ever larger amounts of pay to their most senior executives.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to rein in excessive corporate pay through a series of boardroom reforms, including giving employee representatives a seat at the table.

She condemned the “irrational, unhealthy and growing gap between what these companies pay their workers and what they pay their bosses.”

The PM also floated the idea of making shareholder votes on corporate pay binding.

Despite May’s strong words, critics are concerned about her lack of details on the reforms.

Last year’s big pay rise came despite the FTSE 100 ending the year as one of the worst-performing stock markets in the world, having lost 5 percent of its value over the 12-month period.

Britain’s top-earning CEO was Sir Martin Sorrell, of WPP, with a whopping salary of £70.416 million.



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