THE senior council official in charge of dealing with poverty and neglect in Glasgow has received a golden goodbye worth almost £600,000 - the equivalent of a pound for every man, woman and child in the city.

When director of social work David Crawford took early retirement aged 54 in December, he left with an exit package valued at £589,000, accounts reveal.

It included a £109,217 payment as "compensation for loss of office" from the £129,000-a-year post, with the rest boosting his pension. While Crawford had a 33-year career in social work, he joined Labour-led Glasgow City Council only in 2007.

The SNP and Tories have raised questions over the deal, given that Crawford was immediately replaced and the social work department is suffering budget cuts.

Crawford yesterday declined to comment, saying: "It's absolutely nothing to do with me. I don't work for the council any more so you need to speak to the council. I've no interest in speaking to the press."

The council's unaudited accounts for 2012-13 also show two other Glasgow officials received exit packages worth more than £350,000.

John Kane, head of vocational education, got a £371,000 goodbye, while executive HR manager Margaret Conner had a £453,000 deal.

The average severance deal in the Scottish public sector is £38,740.

The exit packages come as ­Glasgow is being forced to make £42.6 million in budget cuts, with social work and education bearing the brunt.

Day-care centres are closing, nursery teachers are being replaced by nursery nurses, there are fewer trained staff for additional needs pupils, and school meals are rising from £1.15 to £1.50 by August 2014.

The pay-offs flow from a scheme approved by councillors in 2009-10 which let workers retire at 50 with up to 30 weeks' redundancy pay and up to six years and eight months' worth of contributions added to pensions. Last year it was opened to staff of all ages, who were offered up to 66 weeks' redundancy pay.

The result was a surge in applications, with 256 staff getting deals totalling £25.3m in 2012-13, an average of £99,000, with 112 staff receiving deals worth more than £100,000. The previous year, 90 staff had deals worth £5.5m in 2011-12, with only 18 getting above £100,000.

The scheme is expected to cost around £130m as staff numbers fall by 2800, but the council says this should save £55m a year in future.

The £589,000 pay-off is almost three times the value of the biggest exit deal at Edinburgh City Council last year, which was £210,000.

Councillor Graeme Hendry, leader of the SNP opposition in Glasgow, called on Labour leader Gordon Matheson to justify the sums.

He said: "These figures will be horrifying to Glasgow taxpayers.

"For one person in social work to get a package of over half a million pounds in the same year that the vulnerable elderly are forced to pay for safety alarms and adults with learning disabilities are thrown out of their day centres is callous."

Glasgow Tory councillor David Meikle said: "It's outrageous that the council are awarding such generous deals when services are being cut."

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "The council has significantly reduced the size of its workforce over recent years and our early retirement and voluntary redundancy schemes will generate annual, recurring savings of £55m for the city. All employees were offered the same terms and the scheme was supported by all parties on the council's Executive Committee."