government and trade unions condemned Network Rail yesterday for awarding its top managers bonuses and incentive payments totalling more than £2.2m.
Transport secretary Philip Hammond said: “In the week when everyone has been asked to share the burden of reducing Britain’s deficit, people will rightly be asking how Network Rail’s top executives feel this is appropriate.”
Chief executive Iain Coucher, who announced last week that he was leaving, received a £641,000 bonus on top of his £613,000 salary
Coucher waived the bonus last year but a company spokesman said he would be taking this payment.
Network Rail is responsible for the track and signals on Britain’s rail network. It is funded by government subsidies and charges to rail operators.
Unions were unhappy about the payments announced two days after a deficit-cutting emergency Budget set out plans for a two-year wage freeze for most public sector workers.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “It is nothing short of a national scandal that Network Rail boss Iain Coucher is walking out of the door with a golden-handshake bonus.”