Austerity for us, and rewards for them !!!
Ashton in line for £133,000 a year... no work involved! Eu foreign policy chief's bumper pay-off
- Baroness Ashton will rake in £400,000 over three years from Euro taxpayers
- On leaving office she will immediately bank one month's salary of £23,000
Her job ends next year and her generous golden goodbye will amount to £133,500 a year – the equivalent of 55 per cent of her £287,543 salary – until the end of 2017.
On leaving office, the high representative of foreign affairs will immediately get one month’s salary, or £23,962.
She will then receive more than half her annual salary for the next three years.
When she reaches retirement age in 2021, she will become eligible for her EU pension which will be worth £61,000 a year.
Her pay-off was immediately attacked by MPs, with one claiming that she should actually be paying taxpayers back based on her performance. Baroness Ashton has been heavily criticised by the Government over what ministers have described as her ‘ludicrous’ demands for massive budget increases at a time of austerity.
Her running of the EU’s diplomatic service has also been questioned by MEPs from across Europe, who have been unimpressed with the high rates of absenteeism and the hefty rates of pay for officials that are now commonplace in Brussels.
Bureaucrats stepped in to defend her ‘transitional allowance’, saying it was ‘the price for the total independence’ of all the senior officials working in Europe.
One even claimed the pay-off was ‘important’ because it stopped commissioners from looking for a new job during the last months of their mandate.
Last month, Baroness Ashton said she found the role of high representative ‘exhausting’ because it involved ‘a lot of travel and a lot of sitting on planes’.
When she steps down, the Labour peer will have to ask for permission to take any new job for up to 18 months after leaving the post.
But she will only lose some of her taxpayer-funded deal if she lands work that pays her more than £134,000 a year. Her new allowance will be taxed at a lower EU community tax rate of just 13.5 per cent. And she will also be able to immediately attend the House of Lords.
A European Commission spokesman defended her bumper pay-off. saying: ‘It’s important that commissioners don’t start looking for a new job during the last months of their mandate.’
He added: ‘They should take their time over finding appropriate new employment.
‘That way, they can continue to give 100 per cent to the job that taxpayers are paying them to do.
Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, said: ‘The system is run by, and for the benefit of those troughing officials who work in Brussels.
‘If Baroness Ashton got proper performance-related pay, she would be writing a cheque out to HM Revenue and Customs.’
Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, said: ‘Ashton just goes to prove the Brussels pay formula.
‘Eurocrats are paid huge amounts of money inversely to the amount of work they do or the little good that they achieve.’
The former Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament vice chair was elevated to the House of Lords as Baroness Ashton of Upholland by the Labour government in 1999.
She was briefly Leader of the Lords in 2007, before being dispatched to Brussels the following year.
She started by taking over from Peter Mandelson as the EU’s trade commissioner.
Baroness Ashton then became the first person to take on the role of the EU’s high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy in 2009.
After her first year in the post, Baroness Ashton was voted the least useful of all the EU commissioners in a survey of more than 320 European policymakers.