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Saturday 16th
posted by Luke James in Britain

Former PM showered his mates with gold as he left Number 10, having cut Civil Service pay

DAVID CAMERON over-ruled senior civil servants to hand his political advisors inflated golden goodbyes worth over £1 million in one of his last decisions as prime minister.

Mr Cameron’s spin doctors and aides were already entitled to walk away from Downing Street with severance pay worth a total of £747,045 — equivalent to 4.5 months’ pay each — after their boss was forced to resign.

But before leaving No 10 he demanded that be increased so his political pals, who already earn up to £140,000 a year, get six months’ wages as an end-of-run bonus.

That means the Tory’s former team will pocket an extra £282,892 — taking the bill for taxpayers up to £1,029,938.

The move was met with disbelief by unions representing rank-and-file civil servants, who have faced significant pay cuts and job losses since the Tories took power in 2010.

A PCS union spokesman said: “We’re appalled that Cameron would seek to reward his political staff in this way, as civil servants have been told they must face further cuts to their redundancy terms.

“It’s that kind of cronyism that gives politics a whiff of corruption and erodes public trust.”

Prospect deputy general secretary Garry Graham said it displayed “breathtaking arrogance, hypocrisy and disdain for civil servants.”

He added: “Cameron clearly feels guilty that his staff are losing their jobs because of his failures. Perhaps he could explain why he didn’t make a special case for thousands of civil servants who have lost their jobs since 2010 and left on reduced terms?”

Mr Cameron took the decision against the advice of Civil Service chief executive John Manzoni, who opposed the payoff in a frankly worded exchange of letters quietly released on the government’s website on Thursday.

“My strong advice is that we continue to abide by the provisions in their contracts of employment,” Mr Manzoni wrote.

“The contract itself is designed to provide some degree of security for individuals who take on these roles in the knowledge their appointments may come to an end at short notice.”

Mr Manzoni said he would only proceed with the bumper pay off if he received a “written direction” from the Prime Minister.

On Wednesday, Mr Cameron used his final day in office to order the payments through his principal private secretary Simon Case.

Mr Case wrote to Mr Manzoni, saying: “He is conscious that the situation they find themselves in is through no fault of their own.”

Labour shadow Civil Service minister Louise Haigh told the Star: “It’s ironic that Prime Minister has finally recognised the problem of insecure work, at least when it comes to himself and his own staff, having done so little to help millions around the country who also face the threat of instant unemployment but have to survive on poverty pay and without any golden goodbyes.

“If only the government would take such decisive action to protect their rights at work.”

The Tories pledged to “cut the cost of politics” when they was elected but the number of special advisers has soared to 97, costing the taxpayer £11.1m.

Mr Cameron was warned his decision to boost redundancy pay could set a new precedent and cost taxpayers millions more in future. He now faces a probe by Parliament’s public accounts committee.