Joseph Muscat’s €120,000 golden handshake was THREE times average terminal benefits

The Shift reveals €1.4 million awarded to politicians so far through secret payouts scheme.

 

The €120,000 golden handshake paid by taxpayers to disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat was three times the average terminal benefit paid to other former Cabinet members and raises serious questions about the lack of transparency behind the payment.

According to the information obtained by The Shift, since the introduction of the terminal benefits and transitional allowance scheme in 2008, 38 former politicians have been paid a total of €1.4 million in payments on ending their political career, or an average of €37,000 each.

And despite Muscat having spent less time in politics than his predecessors, both former PN prime minister Lawrence Gonzi and former PL prime minister Alfred Sant were awarded much smaller payouts than Muscat’s.

In direct contravention of the principles of accountability and transparency, Prime Minister Robert Abela has consistently refused to explain how Muscat’s €120,000 payment out of public funds was calculated.

The Shift obtained information on the amount each MP was paid as a result of a Freedom of Information request.

Muscat’s secret pay-out

Following revelations by The Shift that Joseph Muscat was awarded a payout of €120,000, when according to a scheme introduced in 2008, he was only entitled to half that payment, new information obtained by this newsroom shows an even bigger discrepancy that raises serious questions about how the terminal benefits scheme is being managed.

According to the 2008 arrangement, Cabinet members, including prime ministers, were entitled to a terminal benefit “equivalent to one-twelfth of the annual salary and allowances received at the time of termination of their employment for every year of continuous service with the Government of Malta.”

Former prime minister Gonzi was paid a terminal benefit of €72,901 upon his exit from politics, even though he spent almost four years more than Muscat at the helm of Castille.

Alfred Sant was paid €36,914 in 2008 when he left local politics. Sant spent less than two years at Castille but served as leader of the opposition for longer than Muscat did.

This information confirms that Muscat was treated more generously than his predecessors and that his payout was calculated on an undisclosed measurement that significantly boosted the amount he received.

Disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat and his wife Michelle

The sums paid in terminal benefits to other former Cabinet members, including those in Muscat’s own Cabinet, also show notable discrepancies, making Muscat’s payment even more questionable.

The Shift has revealed that in 2018 and 2019, Muscat introduced as yet undisclosed amendments to the 2008 benefits scheme, prompting suggestions this may have been done to prepare for his own exit.

Both Muscat and his successor Robert Abela have failed to explain these changes, that were introduced via a secret Cabinet memo.

Terminal benefits unique to politicians

The only public servants entitled to receive terminal benefits are politicians. No other public servant receives any sort of benefit when they retire, apart from the normal pension entitlement.

Over and above these lucrative one-time payments, former ministers and members of parliament also receive a special pension when they reach pensionable age, over and above the usual contributory pension.

Through this privileged pension, former Cabinet members receive the full two-thirds of the final salary of the position they used to occupy, uncapped, until their death. Upon their demise, this full pension right is inherited by the spouse.

On average, this privileged pension amounts to some €30,000 a year over and above the social security pension received by all other Maltese citizens.

The maximum pension a Maltese citizen can get, independently of his/her declared income, is no more than €12,500 a year.

Some sitting ministers in Robert Abela’s government, including Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo and Active Ageing Minister Michael Farrugia, who are both over 65, already receive their full privileged ministerial pension on top of their full ministerial salary.

                           
                               
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David
David
1 month ago

Oh to be privileged, regardless!

carlos
1 month ago

For sure you cannot say that the lousy corrupt ex.pm is not as GREEDY as hell. He’s really worth every cent after shaming us with the world; but this corrupt person has managed to get away scott free UNTIL NOW. HOW LOW CAN THIS CORRUPT PERSON GO! and the honest worker pays for his illicit gains.

carlos
1 month ago

Flus ghandek li ghamilt bil-korruzzkoni pero UNUR BIG ZERO u li ma jinxtarax bil-flus.

Henry s Pace
Henry s Pace
1 month ago

None of them did say that they received such big golden handshake amounts while GAHAN just receives a pension not above Euro12,500.

Carmelo Borg
1 month ago

L aqwa il maggoranza (GAHAN) kuntenti. Hawn naghti PROSIT KBIRA li ta RASU KBIRA (li jaghra lil kulhadd dubbien) meta qal li il laburisti GAHAN.

Agustín
Agustín
1 month ago

“ who are both over 65, already receive their full privileged ministerial pension on top of their full ministerial salary.” is that legal? sorry for my naive question. sounds unique. (at least in Europe)

Doris Zammit
Doris Zammit
1 month ago
Reply to  Agustín

Ma tafx li llum tista’ tirċievi l-pensjoni u tibqa’ taħdem u tieħu s-salarju wkoll? X’differenza imma mill-pensjoni u s-salarju ta’ ħaddiem onest għall-pensjoni u s-salarju tal-politiċi!!!

Eduard Azzopardi
Eduard Azzopardi
1 month ago

Both Muscat and his successor Robert Abela have failed to explain these changes, that were introduced via a secret Cabinet memo.
:
PL transparency at his best.

Valhmor Zammit
1 month ago

No wonder JM and all his family are beaming widely in the picture. Laughing all their way to the bank at the expense of taxpayer Joe. What a bunch of criminals.

Albert Rossi
Albert Rossi
1 month ago

Abela has paved the way for his own eventual departure, so he, too, will receive €120K. This is forward planning.

Joseph
Joseph
1 month ago

U ahna il-pensjonant ‘ GAHAN’ bilkemm ghanna biex nitrejqu sal ahhar tax xahar biex nixtru l-medicini l’ikel u mhux l’inqas il-hlas tal-kontijiet ILMA U DAWL. Allur sur Gahan xi darba fl’istorja fi zmien Mose, in-nies gahan kienu jaduraw l’allat foloz mimlija kollha deheb u fidda u hekk ghadna naghmlu sal-llum il-gurnata lill dawn l’allat foloz POLITICI JITHANZRU MIN FUQ DAR IL-HADDIEM U NGHIDULHOM VIVA TALLI JFOTTUNA u jtuna xi favur li tibqa imcappas ghomrok kollu bieh u huma l’allat foloz jixxamplaw fuq il-jghottijiet u Dubai.

Joseph
Joseph
1 month ago

Fl’2013 kien hawn ex Priministru u kien jghajjat u ghamel brainwashing fin-nies GAHAN bit- tlett kelmiet famuzi tqal ghal l’injorant TRASPARENZA, MERITOKRAZIJA U KONTABILITA. Kliem li ghal kbir mhu xejn hlief kliem u paroli imma ghz zghir huma hafna ghan nies tar-rieda tajba. TINSIEX GAHAN LI DAWN JIGU JHABBTU IL-BIBIEN GHAL VOT U WARA JITILQU LEK

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