Last night Nigella Lawson made her feelings clear about the recent controversial Conservative party redundancy packages. Responding to a
tweet by John Edwards, chair of West Midlands Fire & Rescue Authority and a
Labour Councillor for 39-years, she waded in to
criticise the Conservatives.
She took to Twitter to simply
say, “So they’ve found the Magic Money Tree…” Her tweet refers to the
Conservative government saying during the general election campaign that, “there is
no magic money tree”. Theresa May first used the phrase during BBC
Leaders’ Question Time when speaking to a nurse who hadn’t had a pay
rise for eight years.
Edwards originally tweeted, “Tory MPs who were booted
out of Parliament on 8th June will get TWICE as much statutory
redundancy money that everyone else gets. WHY?”
MPs have been left furious by the preferential treatment shown to Conservative aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill with their redundancy payouts. Timothy and Hill were Theresa May’s co-chiefs of staff, and many hold them responsible for the “awful” general election campaign run by May and the Tory party.
Both Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill resigned at the weekend following the backlash against the Tory campaign, and the senior aides have now reportedly been paid £35,000 each as a redundancy package. They both held their roles for less than a year.
Stewart Jackson, the former MP for Peterborough, tweeted: “Hope Nick Timothy & Fiona Hill enjoy the £35k redundo for (less than) a year in Downing St. I’m getting half that for 12 years’ service in Commons.”
Back in 2015, the Conservatives pledged to cap redundancy payouts for NHS, BBC and civil service staff. They said that when in power they would limit redundancy payments to less than £95,000.
Treasury minister Priti Patel said at the time that it was not right that low income taxpayers should have to, “fund huge payouts when well-paid people get made redundant”.
Currently, due to government rules, aides and special advisers to the PM are entitled to a severance package equivalent to three months’ pay.
Redundancy Pay – your rights
There are two types of redundancy pay that an employee can currently get if they are made redundant. Most employees are legally entitled to ‘statutory’ redundancy pay, and then some employees can get ‘contractual’ redundancy pay on top of the statutory amount if it is stated in their employment contract.
Visit www.gov.uk/redundant-your-rights/redundancy-pay for more information.
Statutory redundancy pay is based on an employees earnings before tax. If you are between 22 and 40, you are entitled to one week’s pay for every year you have worked for your employer, and if you are over 41 then you are entitled to 1.5 weeks’ pay. However, as explained by citizensadvice.org.uk, “the maximum weekly amount you can get is £489 – even if you earn more per week”