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Network Rail pays out on retention bonuses regardless of judge

30 January 2014

NR bosses made it clear today that they will pay £900,000 to three executives in retention bonuses despite a High Court judge calling for bonuses to be "severely reduced".

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes accused the firm of "hard hearted cynicism" after outgoing chief exec Sir David Higgins said the bonuses would still be paid this April.
 
Speaking on Radio Four's "You and Yours" programme, Sir David made it clear he would not halt the retention bonuses which were aimed "at retaining talent" at the top of the taxpayer funded firm. A decision of how much annual and long term bonuses would be made later by its remuneration committee.
 
 But Lord Tony Berkeley, a NR public member, said he would be voting against all bonuses after reading the Lord Chief Justice's judgement when he threw out an appeal by the firm a fortnight ago over a £500,000 fine for safety failings at Beccles where a 10-year-old suffered life changing injuries on an unsafe level crossing  in 2010.
 
The union general secretary added: "It simply beggars belief that Sir David can say he is paying three of his fellow executives £900,000 of taxpayers money in the light of the Lord Chief Justice's scathing critcism of his firm's safety record at level crossings down the years.
 
"Such has been the failings, we now have a Commons Transport Select Committee enquiry into it as well. Yet, like Pontius Pilate, he simply washes his hands and gives his fellow members on the gravy train yet another bonus on top of their huge annual and long term bonuses.
 
"This is an insult to the victims and their families."

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