§ Mr. Milburn
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when severance pay for special advisers was introduced; for what reasons; and what are the terms of the scheme.
§ Sir George Young
[holding answer 31 January 1995]: Severance pay for special advisers was introduced in 1977. Under current arrangements, advisers are eligible for severance payments when their appointments are terminated automatically with the end of an administration, or on the day after polling day in a general election, or when the appointing Minister leaves his or her appointment. Where an adviser is reappointed immediately after one of those occurrences, no payment is made. Similarly, if an adviser is reappointed following a break of service, the adviser may be required to pay back a proportion of any severance payment received. Severance payments, subject to tax and national insurance, are made in accordance with the scale in the table.
Number of months pay in lieu of notice for those aged: Years of service Under 34 34 35 and above Less than two 3 3.0 3 Two but less than three 3 3.5 4 Three but less than four 3 4.0 5 Four and over 3 4.5 6
All special advisers, regardless of age, are entitled to one month's severance pay if their appointment is made within six months of the latest date by which a general election must take place, or if they resign to take part in national political activities within six months of their appointment.