Mandelson is still being paid £8,000-a-month by EU two years after quitting Brussels
In the money: Lord Mandelson is still receiving handouts from Brussels
Lord Mandelson is still being paid more than £8,000 a month by the EU despite leaving his job in Brussels two years ago, it was revealed today.
The peer, who quit as European trade commissioner in 2008 to return to the Cabinet, has a 'transitional allowance' of £103,465-a-year funded by the taxpayer.
He receives £8,622-a-month because he is entitled to half the salary he received while in the plum EU job which was handed to him by Tony Blair.
Lord Mandelson, the former Business Secretary, will be able to claim the allowance until October 2011 - three years after he came back to UK politics.
A Brussels spokesman told the Telegraph: 'The aim of this system is to ease their return to the labour market, to maintain their independence after their time as commissioner. We want to help them so they don't have to jump on every job offer on the way.'
Brussels will only stop paying out before 2011 if the peer, 56, secures a job at a higher salary than his former rate at the EU.
The payouts and the royalties from his explosive memoir The Third Man are listed as his only sources of income on the House of Lords register of interests.
Lord Mandelson, 56, was paid around £400,000 alone for serialisation rights to the book and will also have banked a large advance and ongoing royalties.
As a peer, he is also able to claim the £86.50 daily allowance whenever he goes to the Lords.
Ukip leader in Europe Nigel Farage told the Telegraph: 'Lord Mandelson sits on his sleek backside and continues to sponge up over £100,000 in euro dole. Why doesn't he do something useful for once and get a real job?'
The payouts are more than 30 times Jobseekers' Allowance and at three years, are six times longer than the full rate of unemployment benefit in the UK.
The system has provoked controversy after it emerged earlier this week than 17 ex-commissioners including Lord Mandelson are still receiving large payouts despite securing other jobs.
Until Labour lost the election, the Labour peer banked around £80,000 from the EU because of the difference between his ministerial salary and previous salary in Brussels.
Stephen Booth from Open Europe said: 'It beggars belief that Lord Mandelson should be entitled to receive hugely generous EU payoffs, first while in government and now when he's enjoying a comfortable life on the media circuit.
'This is a slap in the face for taxpayers, particularly in these tough economic times. If Lord Mandelson was principled, he would have turned down these allowances.'
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