Ex-ministers won golden handshakes

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Three former ministers from the Labour Party plus two state secretaries were able to claim lucrative severance payments after their own labours in government, reported newspaper VG this week. The newspaper documented how they all managed to collect the state’s maximum amount of severance pay while they pursued or set up new employment ventures.

Karl-Eirik Schjøtt Pedersen collected six months of severance pay from the state before setting up his own consulting firm, to advise ordinary citizens on how to deal with government. PHOTO: Arbeiderpartiet

Karl-Eirik Schjøtt Pedersen collected six months of severance pay from the state before setting up his own consulting firm, to advise ordinary citizens on how to deal with government. PHOTO: Arbeiderpartiet

All told, the former top Labour politicians plus one state secretary from the Center Party, Erik Lahnstein, collected more than NOK 2.6 million from the state as they continued to be paid their full state salaries of, in the case of the ministers, NOK 99,589 per month (USD 16,500 at current exchange rates).

All departing ministers are entitled to at least one month of full pay upon leaving government service. Those who need to seek new jobs are eligible for up to three months of full pay, with many accepting it and, like former Finance- and Education minister Kristin Halvorsen, began in new jobs in January.

Grete Faremo, a former defense and justice minister, also collected the maximum amount of severance pay from the state before going into consulting and PR. PHOTO: Arbeiderpartiet

Grete Faremo, a former defense and justice minister, also collected the maximum amount of severance pay from the state before going into consulting and PR. PHOTO: Arbeiderpartiet

Several of their former colleagues, however, placed themselves in quarantine after their time in government, applied for and received an extra three months of full gross pay, and then set up new consulting or public relations ventures. They included Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen, who served as chief of staff for former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. Former Defense- and Health Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen and Former Defense- and Justice Minister Grete Faremo did the same, as did Lahnstein and Labour’s Roger Ingebrigtsen, who also was a state secretary.

Former Defense- and Health Minister Anne-Grethe Strøm-Erichsen collected maximum severance before going into PR, too. PHOTO: Arbeiderpartiet

Former Defense- and Health Minister Anne-Grethe Strøm-Erichsen collected maximum severance before going into PR, too. PHOTO: Arbeiderpartiet

They all defended their lucrative and relatively lengthy severance pay, but now they need to earn their own money again. Faremo and Schjøtt-Pedersen are starting up their own firms in the consulting business, which is what Strøm-Erichsen opted for as well, except she’ll be an employee in the firm Rud Pedersen.

Most all members of the former government now have new jobs, with Stoltenberg landing the grandest of them as the next secretary general of NATO.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund