Thanks to our campaigning, senior staff leaving public sector roles will soon have payouts capped at £95,000. In April 2019, the Treasury announced that it is implementing the cap on public sector ‘exit payments’. This is a huge victory for us – and it is, of course, good news for taxpayers.
Our Public Sector Rich List 2015 publication sparked a national debate on golden goodbyes, with mandarins and council staff leaving their jobs with eye-watering payoffs. Quite often, the same people would then walk in to another senior public sector role not long after. We thought that was just totally unacceptable!
The government put a cap of £95,000 into law through the Enterprise Act, which was introduced to Parliament in September 2015 and received Royal Assent in 2016. For that to be enacted fully, though, politicians must then enact secondary legislation, often through a statutory instrument. So the golden goodbyes continued. Exit payments across the public sector were £1.2 billion in 2016-2017. We kept up the pressure, both when speaking directly to Treasury officials and when commenting in the media, to ensure the government delivered on their promises, so we were delighted about the 2019 announcement. You can read about our reaction here: Daily Telegraph, The Times, City A.M. and Daily Express.