UK Politics

Conservatives vow to cap public sector redundancy pay-offs

NHS logo Image copyright PA
Image caption The party has vowed to cap redundancy payments in the public sector - including in the NHS

The Conservatives have vowed to cap public sector redundancy pay-offs if the party wins May's general election.

The party's election manifesto would pledge to introduce legislation to limit payments to £95,000, Treasury minister Priti Patel said.

Taxpayers should not have to fund "huge payouts when well-paid people get made redundant", she said.

Labour said the Tories had already "wasted" more than £1bn on NHS payouts as part of a "reckless reorganisation".

The Conservative proposal follows a number of controversial pay-offs funded by the taxpayer, including some payments of more than £450,000 in the civil service and more than £500,000 in the NHS.

The Conservatives will also consult on extending the cap to cover those working for the BBC, where there have been controversial pay-offs up to just over £1m.

Staff earning less than £27,000 would be exempt from the cap to protect low-earning, long-serving public servants, the Conservatives said.

'Horse bolted'

"It's not right that hard-working taxpayers, many on low salaries, have to fund huge payouts when well-paid people get made redundant," Ms Patel said.

"This goes to the heart of our long-term economic plan for Britain.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDave Penman, FDA union: Redundancy cap 'will hit thousands'

"It's about backing hard-working taxpayers and making sure the economy is tilted in their favour; and it's about saving money so we help bring down our deficit and make our economy more financially secure."

However, Labour shadow health minister Jamie Reed said Prime Minister David Cameron "can't get away from the fact that this horse has already bolted".

Mr Cameron had already wasted £1.6bn on redundancy payouts to NHS managers as part of "his reckless reorganisation", he said.

"Front line NHS staff found it galling that 4,000 managers who received pay-offs are now back in NHS jobs," Mr Reed added.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA which represents senior civil servants, said the cap would hit many ordinary public sector workers.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "This is being portrayed as an attack on fat cats. The reality is this scheme will impact upon nurses, police officers, firefighters, midwives, as well as the people who I represent who are better paid."

Related Topics

More on this story