Boris Johnson’s Government spent £2.7 million of taxpayers’ cash sacking people last year, the Cabinet Office has confirmed.
Some £2.7 million was paid out in severance payouts to departing advisors between April 2019 and March 2020, a new Government report shows.
The annual report on Special Advisors notes the turnover of staff in 2019 was unusually high, due to the December 2019 election and the change of administrations when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.
The payments are made to advisors who are terminated by their department, or whose employment comes to an end when an election is called.
Special advisors effectively lose their jobs when an election is called – but are expected to repay any severance handed to them if they resume their jobs under the new administration.
But the Cabinet Office confirmed to the Mirror that the £2.7 million figure quoted in the report is ‘net’ – meaning any payouts repaid by advisors who resumed their jobs has been taken off the amount.
In 2018-2019, the Cabinet Office reported a figure of just £208,000 paid in severance to departing advisors, after repayments were taken into account.
In the same report it was revealed the Prime Minister handed Dominic Cummings a 40% pay rise during his final months as a senior advisor in Number 10.
In August it was reported that Cummings had been behind the sacking of up to 20 out of around 90 special advisers employed across Whitehall in a “cull” of political staff.
The PM’s outgoing top aide, portrayed by many as being in touch with the fears and concerns of working-class voters, has seen his salary rise to an eye-watering £140,000 of taxpayers’ cash since December 2019 – a rise of £40,000.
Mr Cummings’ inflation-busting pay increase was revealed just weeks after Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak told around 2 million teachers, police officers, firefighters, social workers and other public sector staff who have kept the country running through the pandemic their pay would be frozen.
And the news has reportedly angered fellow special advisors, who had been told their salaries also had to be frozen.
Mr Cummings is due to leave his job at Number 10 this Friday, after quitting last month.
“Yet he’s freezing pay for key workers and refusing to give our care workers a pay rise to the living wage.”
She added: “Cummings’ bumper bonus is an insult to key workers denied the pay rise they deserve.
“It’s another example of how under this government it is one rule for the Tory Party and their friends and another for the rest of us.”