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Treasury to pay ex-MHKs £22,500 after settling tribunal appeal

Former Garff member describes Treasury handling of case as 'totalitarian'

Treasury will have to pay two former MHKs £22,500 each after settling an appeal against a tribunal ruling.

The government lodged an appeal against the tribunal's finding that it should pay Geoffrey Boot and Martyn Perkins almost £34,000 due to age discrimination.

Treasury announced last week that it had lodged an appeal against the judgment due to what it called the substantial legal principles in question and a significant level of public interest.

However, First Deemster Andrew Corlett heard this morning that the two parties had now agreed to settle.

At the tribunal, the two former politicians argued that it was discriminatory not to give them a resettlement payment offered to MHKs under the age of 60 who lose their seats at an election.

Originally, the tribunal awarded a £33,778.50 payment, but this will now be reduced to £22,561 as a result of today's agreement.

Legal representatives for Treasury and Mr Boot described this as a 'pragmatic commercial settlement', while Mr Perkins, representing himself, said "I couldn't afford costs if I'd lost the appeal".

Mr Perkins went on to tell the court he believed the case had brought parliament into disrepute, and that Tynwald's Emoluments Committee had been warned of the age discrimination issue.

He added that he was "quite niggled" to see Treasury posting on Facebook about the decision to appeal, describing it as "totalitarian" and questioning whether it was right to discuss an ongoing appeal on social media.

Deemster Corlett assured the hearing that he would not have been influenced by social media comments, while Treasury's advocate insisted the matter was of considerable interest, and the public was owed an explanation.

Tynwald has since updated the resettlement scheme for MHKs who lose their seats, removing the age qualification.

In response, Treasury says: 'The Treasury welcomes the conclusion of the matter. The decision to appeal was carefully considered and reached while taking into account the legal principles in question and significant public interest. The relevant legislation will be updated following agreement by Tynwald.'

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