Following the stories about BBC golden goodbye's and gagging bribes amounting to nearly £30 million of public money, the papers have now moved on to the vast sums that Whitehall pays out in exit payements each year to the civil service "elite".
"£500,000 Whitehall pay-offs show gravy train is still rolling"
"Moira Wallace, the former permanent secretary at the Energy Department, was handed an exit pay-out worth £472,000 amid suggestions she left after clashing with Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary.
The payment, which was sanctioned by the Treasury, is thought to be the biggest ever severance package and was made despite ministers announcing that such payments were to be capped at far lower levels."
Congratulations to Moira Wallace on being top of the payout charts.
"Miss Wallace left "voluntarily" after 26 years in the civil service and a "record of considerable achievement", a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said. "
Yes this "record of considerable achievement" is still compounding in complexity and cost, and with such momentum that no one can now stop before it hits the buffers...
This "record of considerable achievement" started with the "Draft Energy Bill", and following lots time and money spent earnestly debating and modifying terms of maximal incomprehensibility, will from a consumer point of view, act rather like a computer virus that inflates energy bills for no clear and transparent reason.
Once analysed by independent experts it will be found that the new "levy virus" siphons money from consumer's bank accounts and channels the cash, via some complex arrangement no one currently understands or can explain, into the bank accounts of government, National Grid and certain selected energy suppliers and energy generators.
A mode of operation very similar to computer virus's that steal money outside the law.
The only clear and transparent rule is that this cash siphoning process cannot under any circumstances be called a subsidy.
I have made an interesting and surreal connection between the current Energy Bill and the Corn Laws introduced almost exactly 200 years ago.
"In 1813, a House of Commons Committee recommended excluding foreign-grown corn until the price of domestically grown corn increased to 80 shillings (£4) (2010 equivalent: £202.25) per quarter (1 quarter = 480 lb / 218.8 kg). The political economist Thomas Malthus believed this to be a fair price, and that it would be dangerous for Britain to rely on imported corn because lower prices would reduce labourers' wages, and manufacturers would lose out due to the decrease of purchasing power of landlords and farmers. Nevertheless, 80 shillings a quarter was so high a price that domestic grain never attained it between 1815 and 1848. David Ricardo, however, believed in free trade, so that Britain could use its capital and population to its comparative advantage."
This could be rewritten 200 years later in parody as
In 2013, the House of Commons recommended fixing the price of domestically generated nuclear energy at £XXX per MWh. The [Secretary of State at DECC] believed this to be a fair price, and that it would be dangerous for Britain to rely on cheaper energy because lower prices would reduce energy infrastructure investment, and manufacturers and consumers would lose out due to increased power cuts. Nevertheless, £XXX per MWh was so high a price that domestic free market energy never attained it between 2015 and 2048. James Arathoon and others, however, believed in free energy market using a slowly ramping Carbon Tax, so that Britain could use its capital and population to its comparative advantage.
P.S. If people sign gagging clauses for money (in the public or private sector), do they have to admit to this in public registers of interest, for example if they later become MP's or Lords or civil servants or public officials in quango's etc? It seems to me that not being able to criticise a former employer (especially if it is government) is just as much something to be declared as actively receiving an income.