Former RPA boss got 'golden goodbye'.

Tony Cooper, former chief of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) received a 'golden goodbye' or more than £300,000 when he left the post last year.

According to the agency's annual accounts for 2011 Mr Cooper, who was chief executive of the RPS for four years, received an exit package of £311,000 which included early retirement benefits of £243,803 and £67,007 in respect of "compensation in lieu of notice".  The package also included untaken annual leave worth £12,886 and a bonus of £15,000.  Mr Cooper retires with a pension pot of £1.3mill and a lump sum of £190,000.

The accounts showed the agency also employed three temporary finance directors during the last financial year, costing £500,000 in wages and recruitment fees.

Conservative Anne McIntosh MP, who is also chairwoman of the government's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee, said the financial packages appeared generous in the context of the agency's poor performance in paying out single farm payments.

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