Lib Dems reveal civil servants paid £26m in bonuses

by Stephen Tall on June 17, 2009

Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott, the Lib Dems’ treasury spoeksman in the House of Lords, has been busy in recent weeks – busy compiling figures from Parliamentary answers on the level of “non-consolidated performance pay” (bonuses to you and me) shared between 2,600 of the most senior officials working in Whitehall. And here’s what he’s found:

  • senior civil servants were awarded “bonuses” totalling £26 million last year;
  • £1.21 million was paid out to 141 senior officials in the Department for Business – three quarters of the total – an average of £8,582 each
  • officials at the Department of Health received a total of £1.99 million; at the the Department for Transport they got £1.17 million; at the Department for Children, Schools and Families £800,000; and at the Treasury £776,707.
  • Lord Oakeshott’s research comes complete with his trademark pithy comment:

    Top civil servants get a very good salary averaging £1,500 a week and an excellent index-linked pension. Why do they need £200 a week extra just to get out of bed in the morning – more than many pensioners?”

    Here’s some of the media coverage:

    Civil servants pocketing £26m in perks (Mirror)
    Civil servants given bonuses ‘for getting out of bed’ (Telegraph)
    Top civil servants pocket £26m in bonuses… funded by the taxpayer (Mail)
    Civil servants’ £26m bonus row (Channel 4 News)

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    Reminds me of Yes, Prime Minister (again!):

    Sir Arnold: “You should double the Outstanding Merit Awards. I trust people still get them?”
    Sir Humphrey: “Oh yes, everybody!”

    by Niklas Smith on June 17, 2009 at 6:52 pm. Reply #

    The real problem with a news story like this is that the word “senior” gets lost, and it feeds the prejudice of the right wing press who believe that every public employee is a over protected, under worked, shiny bum work shy lead shifter.
    Perhaps we might add by of explanation that more junior civile servants only get any sort of a bonus if they are in the very tiny minority marked “exceptional” on their annual report. And for that they get a second peanut.

    by Mogggy on June 17, 2009 at 9:44 pm. Reply #

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