Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

When a highly paid executive parts ways unhappily with the government it's always the taxpayer that foots the bill.

And that's how things are shaping in the case of Christine Holgate, the Australia Post CEO who's been returned to sender by Prime Minister Scott Morrison over watchgate.

Crikey can't know for sure, but all the clues suggest manoeuvring is well underway for an expensive termination package. Through the media we've learnt that Holgate has spent days in tears ("She was devastated. It was awful.") and that the way she has been treated has been "bloody disgusting".