Over 500 TfL staff earned more than £100,000 despite £1.6bn taxpayer bailout

Embargoed: 00:01 Tuesday 9 June


The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) today reveals its City Hall Rich List 2020, detailing hundreds of transport bosses earning more than £100,000 in pay, bonuses and benefits last year.

In total, 654 staff employed by the Greater London Authority and its subsidiary bodies (Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade and the mayor's office) received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2018-19.

Transport for London (TfL) had by far the highest number of staff receiving over £100,000, with 518. Of these, 114 received more than £150,000 last year. The highest remunerated employee, TfL boss Michael Brown, received £508,301 in total remuneration, including taking home the biggest bonus of £133,586. The largest expense claim was by the managing director of London Underground who received £16,385, including reimbursement of travel expenses.

Last month Transport For London received a £1.6bn bailout from taxpayers, saying emergency funding was required to prevent the public body going bust. Since 2015-16, TfL, the GLA and the Mayor's Office have seen substantial increases in the number of staff receiving over £100,000, while there has been a reduction at the London Fire Brigade and Metropolitan Police.

Meanwhile, the band D council tax precept set by the mayor has increased by just under nine per cent in 2019-20. London taxpayers have gone from paying £295 in 2015-16 to £332 in 2020-21

Click here to read the full report

TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)

Key findings

  • There were at least 654 people employed by the GLA and its subsidiary bodies in 2018-19 who received more than £100,000. Of these, 154 received over £150,000 in total remuneration.

  • A total of 28 employees received remuneration in excess of a quarter of a million pounds in 2018-19, one fewer than in 2015-16.

  • The highest remunerated employee in 2018-19 was the commissioner of Transport for London, who received £508,301 in total remuneration.

  • Total expenses claimed by senior employees amounted to £159,670 in 2018-19 across all subsidiaries.

Click here for the full details broken down by GLA body

Darwin Friend, researcher at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“It seems that even before the serious strain of coronavirus, TfL’s finances were already going down the tubes. 

“These stupendous City Hall salaries are a steep burden on taxpayers across the capital. They're paying higher council tax bills and being forced to fork out for pay and perks that most Londoners could only dream of. 

“While there’s plenty of talented people working hard to keep London going, the massive rise in top tier salaries suggests Sadiq’s City Hall is much more expensive than it needs to be.”

Click here to read the full report


Transport for London 

  • In 2018-19 the body with the highest number of employees with remuneration in excess of £100,000 was Transport for London, with 518 employees. 

  • Transport for London also had the highest number of employees receiving more than £150,000, with 114. This included the transformation director and the finance director for Crossrail

  • This was a substantial increase from when the current mayor took office in 2016, when the numbers were 459 and 91

  • Transport for London also paid out the most of any body in bonuses and performance related pay to senior employees, paying out at least £1,728,206 in 2018-19. This included all 10 of the employees to receive the largest bonuses. The highest bonus paid was to Michael Brown who received £133,586.

  • The largest expense claim was by the managing director of London Underground who received £16,385, including reimbursement of travel expenses. 

  • The total costs associated with compensation for loss of office for senior staff in 2018-19 amounted to £1,066,698 at Transport for London. This included £444,378 for the talent and resources director of Crossrail.

Mayor's office and GLA

  • Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, takes home £150,644 in pay, bonuses and benefits.

  • 16 employees of the mayor's office received remuneration in excess of £100,000 and four of these got more than £150,000, including the mayor.

  • This is more than double 2015-16, the final year of the previous mayor's term. Then, there were seven members of the mayoral team who received more than £100,000 in total remuneration and one who received in excess of £150,000. 

  • The number of staff at the GLA itself to receive over £100,000 was 25, an increase of over 50 per cent from 2015-16, when 16 staff did so. 

TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)

Media contact:

Sam Packer
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
[email protected]
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)

Notes to editors:

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) fights to reform taxes, reduce spending and protect taxpayers. Find out more about the TaxPayers' Alliance at www.taxpayersalliance.com.
  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. On 25 March, the TaxPayers' Alliance published a statement on the coronavirus emergency.
  4. The full methodology used to calculate the figures in this release can be found in the research paper.
  5. In landmark polling released in November 2019, the TaxPayers’ Alliance found that there was widespread public support for a freeze on council tax, with 76 per cent of all voters and 83 per cent of C2DE voters supporting the proposal. The polling was conducted for the TaxPayers' Alliance by Public First Ltd. Total sample size was 4,004 with fieldwork between 26 - 30 July 2019. 
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