Network 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.