THE three Gwent AMs who either lost their seat or stood down last year, received a combined £80,000.

Islwyn's Irene James, South Wales East AM Veronica German and Blaenau Gwent representative Trish Law each received £26,926 in resettlement grants.

In total, £845,179 was given to the 22 Welsh AMs who either lost their seats or stood down before the May 2011 elections.

The money makes part of a remuneration package and is paid on top of salaries they received and pensions.

They are calculated according to the members' age and length of service, with the three Gwent AMs getting the lowest level of payout.

The highest went to the former Welsh Conservative leader, Mid and West Wales member Nick Bourne, who scooped £51,415. Labour member for Islwyn Irene James had been an AM since 2003, but didn't stand for re-election in 2011.

Veronica German replaced her husband Mike German in the South Wales East seat in June 2010 after he vacated it to become a peer.

His wife, a fellow Liberal Democrat, lost seat the next year, but still scooped £26,926 for less than a year's work.

Trish Law also took on her husband's former seat after Peter Law died of a brain tumour in April 2006.

Mrs Law won a by-election to find his replacement in June 2006 and then the elections of May 2007.

However, she decided not to stand again in 2011.