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THREE BOSSES.. THREE PAY-OFFS.. ONE MASSIVE BILL FOR TAXPAYERS pounds 336,500; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: By RAYMOND HAINEY

THREE bosses at an enterprise quango have been paid off with pounds 336,500 of public cash.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise forked out the massive redundancy packages in a bid to slash costs.

The total cost of axing the three directors and 56 other workers from Inverness-based HIE was pounds 4.4million.

Business growth director Jackie Wright - who earned more than pounds 67,000 a year - walked away with pounds 150,476.

Director of global connections Stuart Black got pounds 138,375 after less than a year in his pounds 61,000-a-year job.

He has already landed a pounds 100,000- a-year public sector post as planning director at Highland Council.

Personnel chief Susan Myles got pounds 47,580 to quit her pounds 64,600-a-year post.

Alex Neil, a member of the Scottish parliament's finance committee, said yesterday he would raise the pay-offs this week.

He said: "HIE is no different from other public sector bodies and the taxpayer is being taken for a ride.

"The thing is out of kilter, especially when people are losing their jobs and many are getting only the basic statutory redundancy payments.

"The issue of remuneration in the public sector needs a thorough going over.

"We can't go on giving these huge sums of money to people, often irrespective of how long they have been in their jobs.

"A lot come back into the public sector as consultants, earning thousands of pounds a day doing the sort of job they've been made redundant from."

Details of the massive pay-outs were made public as thousands of private sector workers lose their jobs with nothing.

Firms across Britain are going bust while others have imposed pay freezes on staff terrified of losing their jobs.

The cuts came after HIE - whose job is to generate employment and investment - were ordered by the Scottish government to cut more than pounds 5million from their annual spending.

HIE said: "It's calculated the savings from the redundancy scheme will be pounds 2.3million a year, which means the costs will be recouped in two years."

SUNDAY EMAIL

r.hainey@sundaymail.co.uk

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 7, 2008
Words:360
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