Expenses scandal MP scoops a £32,383 reward

PUBLISHED: 13:01 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:00 25 August 2010

A DISGRACED MP has been given a Parliamentary £32,000 golden goodbye despite being sacked by the Tories in the expenses scandal.

A DISGRACED MP has been given a Parliamentary £32,000 'golden goodbye' despite being sacked by the Tories in the expenses scandal.

Former Old Bexley and Sidcup MP, Derek Conway, was given a 'resettlement grant' along with 217 other members who stood down or lost their seats in this year's election.

Mr Conway was ordered to pay back £13,160 for wages he claimed for his son Freddie which an inquiry could find no evidence of having been completed.

He was stripped of the Tory party whip and condemned by a Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

More than £10 million of taxpayers' money was spent on MPs leaving the Commons.

The amount each received depended on the length of their service and their age, with MPs aged 55 to 64 with 15 or more years' service receiving the maximum amount.

Mr Conway, 57, was given £32,383 for serving eight years, while former Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, John Austin, 65, received £59,584.72 for his 18 years of service.

John O'Connell, Policy Analyst at the TaxPayers' Alliance, which carried out the research said: "This vast sum of money will be frustrating for taxpayers, particularly after the expenses scandal.

"MPs should be aware that they are entering a contract with a fixed term - if they're voted out it's the end of the contract, not a redundancy.

"Besides, most of the MPs receiving this payment stood down voluntarily. The current recommendations for changing the system do not go far enough and would in some cases have made only a tiny difference this time around.

"With such a high turnover of MPs, we have an opportunity to really change things and see if politicians are serious about the new politics that we heard so much about in the election campaign."

MPs are eligible for at least half of their £64,766 salaries upon stepping down, of which the first £30,000 is tax-free. Mr Conway declined to comment.

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