Network Rail has apparently been warned that it would be in breach of its license if it goes ahead with multi-million pound bonuses.
The rail union TSSA announced yesterday that Network Rail bosses were planning a long-term bonus scheme which will see them paid almost £12 million on top of annual bonuses already worth up to an extra £330,000 a year.
The row came in the same week that Network Rail revealed it wants it public members to back a new annual bonus scheme-which could already add 60 per cent to executive salaries, and other bonus payments totalling £2.6 million.
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “These people are setting new levels of self aggrandizement at the expense of both taxpayer and passengers.
“They are meant to be running a vital public service which receives £4 billion a year from the taxpayer. Instead they seem determined to turn themselves into millionaires at our expense.”
The new long-term bonus scheme being discussed with the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) would see the six directors paid a maximum bonus pot of £11.7 million over three years between 2013 and 2015 if agreed performance targets were met.
Each director would be paid over £850,000 on top of all existing earnings.
The payments would be on top of the annual bonus scheme to be consulted on at Network Rail’s AGM in Glasgow on July 19.
In February, Network Rail’s chief executive Sir David Higgins, who earns £560,000 a year, announced that rail bosses would give up their bonuses this year.
Richard Price, ORR chief executive, said: “In terms of the proposals, we do not yet consider that what we have seen from you so far complies with your licence obligations, including our objectives.”