Labour has called for Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng to hand back the redundancy payments they are due for their time in Downing Street, saying it would be “abhorrent” if they kept them.
Truss and Kwarteng are due to receive thousands in severance pay after their calamitous mini-budget and growing unpopularity in the Conservative party forced them from office. The former prime minister sacked her chancellor shortly before her own resignation in a last-ditch effort to save her skin.
Truss is in line to get £18,860, about £365 for each day she was prime minister, while Kwarteng could get £16,876 for his 38-day tenure. His sacking made him the second-shortest-serving chancellor in history.
Their September mini-budget led to the pound collapsing against the dollar, a £65bn pensions bailout by the Bank of England and rising mortgage interest rates.
Labour will put forward a motion in the Commons on Tuesday demanding that Truss and Kwarteng hand at least £6,000 back. They say it would be unfair if they kept it while 2 million people struggle with mortgage costs and a third of people report their repayments have gone up in the last six months.
The shadow levelling up, housing and communities secretary, Lisa Nandy, said: “It is abhorrent that a prime minister and chancellor should be able to crash the economy, costing hard-working families hundreds of pounds a month in higher mortgage payments, and then pocket a severance payment worth thousands for themselves. Today the new prime minister, chancellor and Tory MPs can undo that disgrace.”
Ministers are eligible for a redundancy payment after leaving office. Since the start of 2022, 79 have resigned or been sacked, and 71 qualify for the payments that are more than £10,000 each.
The culture secretary, Michelle Donelan, refused the payment for her 36 hours as education secretary under Boris Johnson. She was reappointed to the cabinet by Truss and kept her job under Rishi Sunak.
The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, will announce a series of measures on Thursday aimed at repairing some of the damage caused by the economic turmoil under Truss and Kwarteng.
Nandy added: “Britain literally cannot afford any more of this Tory government. Millions of families are struggling to get by because the Conservatives crashed the economy and pushed up mortgage costs. We need a government that will secure our economy and get it growing again by investing in all people and all parts of the United Kingdom.”