The first ever full-scale reshuffle of the Coalition will cost the taxpayer more than Â£250,000 in tax-free redundancy pay-outs, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Ex Cabinet ministers Caroline Spelman (left) and Cheryl Gillan will get more than Â£17,000 each tax free after being sacked by David Cameron in the reshuffleÂ
The ministers will receive thousands of pounds each because of the decision by David Cameron and Nick Clegg decision to over-haul the Cabinet two and a half years into the life of the Coalition.
Under the 1991 Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act, ministers are entitled to three months of their ministerial salary when they are forced out of office.
In the reshuffle 28 paid ministers and one unpaid minister lost their jobs â€“ about one in four of the Government.
The payments are triggered if a minister has not found another role in Whitehall three weeks after leaving.
They range according to seniority, from Â£17,207 for a secretary of state to Â£5,924 for a Parliamentary under Secretary, the lowest paid ministerial role in Government.
Five Government whips who lost their jobs should get just over Â£5,000 each.
The money will be paid tax-free because it is less than Â£30,000, the level at which at which tax starts to be paid on redundancy pay-outs.
Calculations by The Daily Telegraph suggest the pay outs to ministers will total Â£249,027 â€“ excluding payments to special advisers who have lost jobs with their ministers.
Last night, Labour criticised payments which were triggered by a reshuffle in which the occupants of the main offices of state stayed where they were
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher said: â€œSo the cost to the hard-pressed tax-payer of David Cameronâ€™s â€˜no changeâ€™ reshuffle, where one set of out of touch ministers was swapped for another equally unrepresentative bunch of failures, was a quarter of a million quid. Itâ€™s a case of gongs and pay-off’s for failure. What a waste of money.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: â€œSeverance pay is widely used across both private and public sectors to assist with a sudden loss of income. Ministerial severance pay has been required under legislation since 1991.â€