Network Rail bosses set to receive up to £2.6 million in bonuses, five months after refusing them

July 04, 2012 4:58 PM

Executives at the taxpayer-funded and guaranteed Network Rail are set to receive bonuses worth up to £650,000 each in a newly proposed £2.6 million pay scheme. This comes only five months after senior executives in the firm rejected their bonuses after a public outcry and intense political pressure.

But five months on, they’ve had a change of heart. Under new proposals three directors will each get £300,000 as a so-called “golden handcuff” payment,  and those directors plus another two will also get a long term bonus of up to £440,000. But these payments completely miss the point. Taxpayers should not be held to ransom by executives who already receive substantial pay packets from taxpayers. It is insulting to expect taxpayers to stump up even more money to retain employees and dish out bonuses when fares for passengers are to increase by a whopping 11 per cent.

The plans have also been attacked by Maria Eagle, the shadow transport secretary who said:
"Passengers facing annual fare rises of up to 11 per cent will be staggered that our rail industry could be so out of touch and doesn’t recognise how times have changed. Passengers expect Network Rail to be focusing on improving train punctuality not obsessing with their already sizeable pay packets. Additional payments on top of salaries should be for exceptional performance, not the rule”

Network Rail bosses appear to have learnt nothing from the public outcry the last time they attempted to push ahead with bonuses. When rail users are facing substantial increases in ticket fares, they expect Network Rail to focus on meeting its targets on train punctuality and performance rather than obsessing with the salaries and bonuses of the executives who have singularly failed to meet those targets.Executives at the taxpayer-funded and guaranteed Network Rail are set to receive bonuses worth up to £650,000 each in a newly proposed £2.6 million pay scheme. This comes only five months after senior executives in the firm rejected their bonuses after a public outcry and intense political pressure.

But five months on, they’ve had a change of heart. Under new proposals three directors will each get £300,000 as a so-called “golden handcuff” payment,  and those directors plus another two will also get a long term bonus of up to £440,000. But these payments completely miss the point. Taxpayers should not be held to ransom by executives who already receive substantial pay packets from taxpayers. It is insulting to expect taxpayers to stump up even more money to retain employees and dish out bonuses when fares for passengers are to increase by a whopping 11 per cent.

The plans have also been attacked by Maria Eagle, the shadow transport secretary who said:
"Passengers facing annual fare rises of up to 11 per cent will be staggered that our rail industry could be so out of touch and doesn’t recognise how times have changed. Passengers expect Network Rail to be focusing on improving train punctuality not obsessing with their already sizeable pay packets. Additional payments on top of salaries should be for exceptional performance, not the rule”

Network Rail bosses appear to have learnt nothing from the public outcry the last time they attempted to push ahead with bonuses. When rail users are facing substantial increases in ticket fares, they expect Network Rail to focus on meeting its targets on train punctuality and performance rather than obsessing with the salaries and bonuses of the executives who have singularly failed to meet those targets.

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Aid spending needs to be more transparent

4:55 PM 08, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

The sugar tax and the public finances

6:00 AM 05, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Working for the taxman

6:00 AM 26, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

4:56 PM 24, Nov 2016 James Price