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Departing MPs receive pay-offs

PUBLISHED: 12:34 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:59 30 June 2010

Departing MPs in Norfolk and north Suffolk received pay-offs totalling £228,000 between them after the general election.

Yarmouth MP Tony Wright, 55, who was defeated in the constituency, received £54,403.

Departing MPs in Norfolk and north Suffolk received pay-offs totalling £228,000 between them after the general election.

Yarmouth MP Tony Wright, 55, who was defeated in the constituency, received £54,403.44 in resettlement grants.

MPs who stand down or lose their seats are entitled to “resettlement grants” worth between 50pc and 100pc of an MPs' annual £64,766 salary.

The amount varies according to age and length of service, with MPs aged 55-64 with 15 or more years in the Commons getting the maximum £64,766 payment.

A new report shows that Charles Clarke, 59, who was defeated in Norwich South, Tony Wright, 55, who was defeated in Great Yarmouth, and Bob Blizzard, 59, who was defeated in Waveney, all received £54,403.44 in resettlement grants.

All three were first elected in 1997 and had served 13 years as an MP. The first £30,000 of this is tax-free and is in addition to their parliamentary pension.

Christopher Fraser, who stood down in South-West Norfolk after five years as an MP, received £32,383. John Gummer, who stood down in Suffolk Coastal, received the same amount, even though he had been an MP for 31 years. The reason is that MPs past retirement age receive less, as they can claim their parliamentary pension.

Across the country, 218 departing MPs are entitled to a total of £10.4 million - an average of £47,706. This year's total is higher than usual because of the large turnover of MPs in the wake of the expenses scandal.

Last year's Kelly report into MPs' expenses recommended that members who step down voluntarily should receive only eight weeks' pay. But the new Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) watchdog has not yet decided whether to reform the system in time for the next election.

The prime minister's official spokesman said: "My understanding is that these are contractual entitlements. Clearly, Ipsa will be looking at the whole regime and making recommendations for the future.”

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