Labour demand Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng hand back part of their severance pay-out after ‘crashing the economy’

MPs will vote on whether Truss and Kwarteng should hand back at least £6,000 from their severance payments

Labour is demanding that the former Prime Minister and former Chancellor hand back part of their ministerial severance payments.

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng were entitled to “loss of office” payments equating to three months’ of their ministerial salary, or around £19,000 and £17,000 respectively.

Labour will bring forward a motion in the House of Commons forcing them to hand back at least £6,000 of the payments, as research by the party shows one in four mortgage holders are struggling to afford their payments.

Third of people struggling to afford housing payments

According to an analysis of ONS survey data by the Labour Party, almost 2 million people are struggling with their mortgage costs, following significant increases in the base rate of interest, in part attributed to Liz Truss’ mini-budget.

Almost a third (32%) of people say their mortgage payments have increased in the last six months, while almost half (48%) of mortgage holders say they have been worried in the last two weeks about changes to the interest rate on their mortgage. A third of people said that affording their rent or mortgage payments is “very or somewhat difficult”.

Labour will use its opposition day motion in the House of Commons today (15 November) to force Conservative MPs to vote on whether Truss and Kwarteng should hand back some of their severance payments.

Lisa Nandy MP, Shadow Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Secretary said it is “abhorrent that a Prime Minister and Chancellor should be able to crash the economy, costing hard-working families’ hundreds of months a month in higher mortgage payments, and then pocket a severance payment worth thousands for themselves”.

She called on the Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt and Tory MPs to “undo that disgrace”.

She said: “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.”

The party has not committed to amending the ministerial and other pensions and salaries act (1991), which stipulates that anyone leaving office is entitled to a payment worth three months’ of their ministerial salary, with no threshold for the amount of time served in order to be eligible for the payment.

It is unclear why Labour is only demanding the former Prime Minister and Chancellor hand back £6,000 of the payments, rather than the full amounts. Liz Truss was entitled to £18,860 and Kwasi Kwarteng was entitled to £16,876,25.

Last month, NationalWorld revealed that more than £240,000 in severance could be paid out to senior MPs who either returned to or left government in Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle.

This includes the Prime Minister himself, a number of ministers who had been out of office for less than three months, and several former ministers who had been in their roles for less than three months.