§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many severance payments have been made to Ministers who have quit office in his Department since 2 May 1997; and if he will list(a) the former ministers concerned and (b) the sums paid. 
§ Mr. Byers
[holding answer 19 January 1999]: Severance payments to Ministers are made in accordance with the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991 which provides that Ministers who have not attained the age of 65, and are not reappointed to a relevant Ministerial or other paid office within three weeks of their leaving office are eligible for a severance payment of one quarter of the annual salary being paid.
Two Ministers who have left the Department since 2 May 1997 qualify for such payments—my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Griffiths), who was Under-Secretary of State at the time of his departure, and my right hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson), who was Secretary of State.