Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Anger at Hydrographic Office chief's £100k bonus
A £100,000 bonus pocketed by chief executive Mike Robinson sends the wrong message during a period of austerity, angry critics claim.
It boosted his £160,000 annual salary, higher than David Cameron’s £142,500.
Staff at the UKHO, which produces maritime charts and is a ‘trading fund’ making payments to the Ministry of Defence, have criticised the package on an internal forum.
Janice Goodman, PCS union chairman, said: “Members are in the middle of a two-year pay freeze and are aggrieved to find that he has been paid as much of a bonus.”
Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne, who fought proposals to move the UKHO to Exeter, said: “We’re living in difficult economic times, and there needs to be real restraint in top level pay and bonuses.
“A basic salary higher than the Prime Minister’s seems more than adequate in the public sector when Britain’s having to deal with an enormous budget deficit.”
Matthew Sinclair, TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive, said people would be “justifiably angry”.
He said: “Some of the eye-watering figures being paid out would be hard to justify in the good times, but when the economy’s stagnating they’re a slap in the face for families who are struggling to make ends meet.”
A UKHO spokesman said the business “demands the highest level of expertise, judgment and commercial acumen from its chief executive”.
He said: “Performance awards are earned through meeting stringent objectives set and objectively scrutinised each year by independent non-executive directors on the Remuneration and Nom-inations Committee.
“The award is part of an overall contractual remuneration package, and is only paid if objectives are met and efficiencies generated.”
“While it looks unusual to pay such a high bonus in the current climate, it’s important to note that, for various administrative and contractual reasons, the payment made in the last financial year actually covered two financial years, in addition to a payment of deferred bonus which became due when Mike Robinson’s contract came to an end.”
The bonus was approved by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.