Jul 2008 21

Railway20engineers_1Network Rail has its debts guaranteed by the Government and enjoys a monopoly.  It may not be entirely owned by the state but it is hardly a private sector organisation either.  Taxpayers have a very real stake in how the company is run both as its guarantors and as rail passengers who depend upon an efficient and reliable service.

Today the Telegraph report that the House of Commons Transport Committee have released a report attacking the senior management at Network Rail for "an entire catalogue of management failings".  In particular, maintenance work overran at Rugby, Liverpool Street and Glasgow Shields Junction and disrupted more than 60,000 passengers a day.  This led to the company being fined £14 million by the rail regulator.

In that context, do you think that Network Rail’s chiefs deserve hefty bonuses?

Between them they enjoyed more than £700,000 in bonuses.

"Despite that, Iain Coucher, the chief executive, pocketed a £305,581 annual bonus on top of his £539,000 salary and a long-term incentive payment of £205,000, taking his total pay last year to more than £1 million.

Three executive directors received annual bonuses in excess of £200,000 each – just 14 per cent less than the maximum they could have received."

We shouldn’t be forced to underwrite such a culture of easy rewards for massive failure.

Matthew was the Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, author of Let Them Eat Carbon and editor of How to Cut Public Spending (and still win an election)



  • ivan

    why does Gordon Brown ignore these leaches? I know all politicians are keen on jobs for the boys, but surely given the PM’s immense unpopularity, he could score some points by reducing public spending through efficiency increases, but instead he breaks his own rules on borrowing to continue throwing money down the drain…

  • Mike Cross

    Daily, the TPA, the newspapers and media report such theft of public money in the form of bonuses or severance payments to failed and often grossly incompetent managers. (verging on corporate manslaughter on the railways) In Rail Track, the civil service, the BBC, the energy and other watchdogs, the health service and so on. Where does the buck stop? and if and when we have a change of government WHAT are the tories going to do about it ?. At least David Cameron is beginning to put his own house in order and sack (generously!) the likes of Derek Conway & some thieving MEPs. The TPA needs to do an analysis of the worst cases of these abuses and submit it publicly to Cameron for his comments and COMMITMENT well before the election. I know he will have one problem…many of the failures could be tory supporters…but the positive switch of other voters to the Tories will more than compensate for their loss if he takes a strong line. I still pinch myself when I realise that AT LAST we the voters and payers and workers and wealth creators actually have a voice which is heard in high places and which ALL the media are happy to quote. TPA…..many thanks…….. Mike