[…] the Labour peer, who finishes her job as High Representative of foreign affairs in October next year, will be paid £133,500 a year, 55 per cent of her basic salary, until the end of 2017.
The “transitional allowance” does not require her to do any work at all and she will be paid under reduced rates of EU “community” tax, rather than the standard British rates of taxation for high-income earners.
The allowance is defended as “the price for the total independence” of senior EU officials like Lady Ashton, who is also a vice-president of the European Commission, who must also “ask permission for any job they would like to do for 18 months after leaving”.
“It’s important that commissioners don’t start looking for a new job during the last months of their mandate, and that they take their time over finding appropriate new employment,” said a commission spokesman.
“That way, they can continue to give 100 per cent to the job taxpayers are paying them to do, and there is much less risk of a conflict of interest.”Well, obviously. So here is the peerless Peggy Lee with Frank Sinatra: