Outrage as EU president Van Rompuy pockets £600,000 for doing nothing
The Belgian eurocrat is entitled to the money after finishing his term as president
The Belgian eurocrat is entitled to the money as a transitional allowance over the next three years after finishing his term as European Council president.
In a sign that the juggernaut of EU excess shows no signs of slowing, Mr Van Rompuy will be paid £133,723 a year – 55 per cent of his basic salary – until December 2017, on top of his annual Brussels pension of £52,000.
Hard-pressed Brits deserve a better deal from Brussels
He will also receive a £21,000 one-off payment, taking his earnings to £578,000 over the next three years.
The extraordinary golden goodbye, which is to ease him back into life outside the world of Brussels officialdom, immediately triggered an angry backlash.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who once described Mr Van Rompuy as a “damp rag”, blasted the payments.
“Van Rompuy’s term in office has seen millions driven into poverty and unemployment by the eurozone crisis but he himself has hit the jackpot,” he said.
“The EU is a racket which looks after its own.”
Under EU rules, Mr Van Rompuy does not have to do any work for his ‘transitional allowance’, which will be eligible for reduced-rate EU community tax, rather than the Belgian income tax rate.
Council President Donald Tusk receives a ceremonial bell from outgoing President Herman Van Rompuy
Outgoing European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, right, holds a good luck charm
The Belgian has been replaced by Donald Tusk, who is being offered a package of pay and perks which total more than five times what he was earning as Polish Prime Minister.
Labour peer Baroness Ashton, who finished her job as the European Commission’s High Representative of Foreign Affairs in October, is receiving the same £133,723 allowance – although, at 58, she is not entitled to a pension.
Mr Van Rompuy’s golden goodbye is one of several transitional allowances being paid out to numerous European Commissioners who are standing down from the last Brussels executive – with the bill totalling £30 million.
John O’Connell, Director of the Taxpayers said today: “This is an extraordinary figure. Taxpayers will be furious that Mr Van Rompuy, who has not exactly been the biggest cheerleader for much-needed reform in Europe, is walking off with such a significant golden goodbye.
“Hard-pressed Brits deserve a better deal from Brussels, and that includes a crackdown on the ludicrous pensions and pay-offs handed out to former officials.”