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Brown and Straw yet to switch back into Parliamentary pension fund

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw have yet to switch back into the Parliamentary pension fund despite announcing they would forgo their generous grace and favour pension entitlements two years ago.

The Government has also failed in its pledge to prevent future Prime Ministers and Lord Chancellors taking grace and favour pensions.

In January 2008, the Government said it would enact the changes to benefits for future leaders, recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Board, later that year. Brown and Straw both pledged to abide by the new rules.

A Downing Street spokesman claims that the legislation will be taken forward “as soon as Parliamentary time allows” but a general election, which could see the Labour lose power, is pegged for May 6.

He adds: “The voluntary agreements from Gordon Brown and Jack Straw mean they have refused to benefit from the arrangement, regardless of legislation.”

The Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Speaker of the House of Commons are entitled to half their final salary, regardless of length of service, as soon as they leave office.This comes from the consolidated fund where tax revenue is paid.

In 2009/10 Brown’s ministerial salary entitlement was £132,923 making him eligible for a pension of £66,461.50 a year.

They can also get around 1/40th of an MP’s pay for each year of service from 1991 from the Parliamentary scheme.

If the proposals are enacted, future post holders will receive the pension benefits available to Cabinet members.

Secretaries of State get around 1/40th of their ministerial pay for as long as they are in the Cabinet and 1/40th of their pay for as long as they were an MP. This kicks in from age 65.

The Conservatives refused to confirm if they would follow through with the proposals if they win the election.

Pensions expert Ros Altmann says: “This is another example of the Government making promises about pensions and not keeping them, hoping people will not realise.”


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There are 9 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Terry Mullender 11th March 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Another example, (not that one were needed) of how out of touch MP’s are with the pension position of the majority of their own constituents, and how they have, abused their position of trust to the detriment of the UK taxpayer. Absolutely shameful.

  2. They should get their fingers out and do what they said. But at least Brown and Straw have agreed to forego them. Conservative MP John Bercow, the Leader of the House, who only came into the post because of the previous incumbent’s handling of the expenses scandal, has steadfastly refused to do the same. He is entitled to a pension of more than £2m if he leaves the job tomorrow. He should by now have agreed to forego it too, if he was so concerned about snouts in troughs.

  3. The list of promises this government has broken extends way beyond pensions (what about the referendum on Europe that we never got?), though arguably pensions is one area of which it’s made the biggest mess (along with regulation of the financial services industry). Hardly great stuff for all us poor saps out here who have to pay for it all.

    Given the damage suffered by the British economy (and many others of the western world) as a result of Crash Gordon’s politically skewed and incompetent chancellorship over 12 years, one might make a pretty robust case for confiscating his pension altogether. I would.

  4. Nice scheme can I join? Cant make more of a hash of it for the next coupel of months than has been done for the past 3 years.

  5. would we expect anything different from this lot?

  6. Lamb to the slaughter 11th March 2010 at 2:14 pm

    More lies and total incompentancy at least its consistant

  7. YOu cannot trust any MP, they are cretins or the highest order, no matter what party, its duck island and moat cleaning all round, torys labour the lot. make them work for a living rather than all day drinking and hob nobbing with the old boys network and bungs from lobbiests, cash for questions was the tip of the flaming iceberg,

  8. Er..hate to stick up for Gordon Brown but he and Straw are on record as saying he will forego his pension entitlement (as the article concedes), this is a complete non-story…

  9. Er.. hate not to stick up for Gordon Brown but he and Straw are on record as saying they will forego their favourable pension entitlement but that was two years ago and they still have not done it. How long is reasonable – 2 years seems like maybe they said it to appease at the time but in reality don’t want to give it up. No different from Lord Ashcroft saying he would become domiciled for tax purposes but never quite get round to doing it – I am sure he meant to but hasn’t yet had the time to sort it out just like Brown and Straw haven’t had time to sort their pensions out. Yeah right!

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