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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    What financial crisis ?

    Mandelson to pocket a 1m Brussels pay-off


    Peter Mandelson, the new Business Secretary, is in line for a 1m pay-off and pension package from Brussels after serving just four years as Britain's European Commissioner, The Observer can reveal.
    Mandelson is eligible for a 'golden goodbye' in addition to an annual salary of 104,386 as a cabinet minister in the House of Lords, under the EU's generous rules.
    The gold-plated deal will provoke strong criticism from Labour MPs as the credit crunch bites and as all three main parties demand curbs on bankers and City financiers.
    The EU rule book decrees that Mandelson, who left his job as Trade Commissioner last week before completing his five-year term, will be eligible for about 78,000 a year for each of the next three years in 'transitional payments'. A total of 234,000 will be paid in instalments of 6,500 a month until the end of 2011. It will be subject to preferential tax rates devised for EU officials.
    In addition, when Mandelson reaches 65, he can look forward to a guaranteed EU pension - based on his four-year stint in Brussels - starting at 31,000 a year and rising in line with the cost of living. Pensions experts said last night that to buy an income of that size would require a fund of around 750,000.
    David Heathcoat-Amory, a Conservative member of the Commons European scrutiny committee, said Mandelson should refuse the payments. 'It is not as if he has lost his job. He is moving into a government job with a good ministerial salary. If he takes this money, it will be a very bad example from a government that is criticising severance payments and City bonuses.'
    Commission officials said the fact that Mandelson had quit before the end of his five-year term in charge of EU trade policy made 'no difference' to his entitlements. Any commissioner who has served more than three and fewer than five years can take 50 per cent of their 182,490 annual income for three years after leaving, so long as this sum and any income from new employment combined do not take their income over the level that they were earning as a commissioner. Mandelson, who rented a flat in Brussels but still owns a 2m property in Regent's Park in London, can also apply to be reimbursed fully for all his removal costs.
    The EU pay-off arrangement means that Mandelson will be earning almost exactly the same as the Prime Minister: whose current salary is 189,994. Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said the 'vast amount' Mandelson was earning was 'totally inappropriate'. Pay-offs for EU commissioners showed the 'massive divide between unaccountable people in power and the taxpayers who foot the bill'.
    Mark Francois, the Tories' spokesman on Europe, said: 'Not only did Gordon Brown recall Peter Mandelson to shore up his own position, but it adds insult to injury to know taxpayers will have to pay extra for the privilege.'
    The Prime Minister said 10 days ago that he wanted to recall Mandelson - who has twice resigned from cabinet posts in controversial circumstances - because he needed 'the best team' to help Britain through the global economic crisis.
    In the Lords, where he will be able to claim a secretarial allowance of up to 70 a day, Mandelson will be in the company of other well remunerated former commissioners, including Lord Kinnock, who left Brussels after nine years with a transitional pay-off of about 277,000 over three years and a pension starting at 63,900 from the age of 65.
    Last night a source close to Mandelson suggested he would take whatever he was entitled to, but stressed that he was unaware of the sums involved. 'Mandelson does not know what he is entitled to. This calculation has not been made by the commission. No doubt he will be informed in due course.'


    • media Limited 2008
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/oct/12/mandelson-labour/print

  2. #2
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    good2bhappy's Avatar
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    See it isn't just Thai politicians that line their own pockets

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    They're all bastards.

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