Friday, 24 February 2012

Pointless signs - Elephant & Castle yesterday

Greening slam dunks Railway Execs?

Exciting business bashing news from the Captain of Netball!

This exchange in the House yesterday:

Hugh Bayley (York Central) (Lab): What steps she plans to take to limit the bonuses and overall remuneration of executive directors of privately owned but publicly subsidised railway companies.

The Secretary of State for Transport (Justine Greening): Bonuses at shareholder-owned private sector companies are a matter for their remuneration committees and shareholders. In respect of Network Rail, I very much welcome the decision by the company’s executive directors to forgo this year’s annual bonuses.

Hugh Bayley: I ask the Secretary of State to think further on that. Of the six private companies that receive enormous subsidies from the taxpayer for running rail franchises, only one publishes information on the remuneration of its directors—the highest paid director receives £344,000 a year. Will she consider publishing, in an anonymised form if necessary, the salaries of all directors and staff of companies that receive money from the taxpayer when those salaries are higher, say, than her own?

Justine Greening: The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting suggestion. The Government are looking across the board at how we can introduce corporate governance rules that lead to a more responsible approach by companies, and that give shareholders the ability to hold their executive to account more effectively. Transparency is a key part of the Government’s agenda too, so I shall reflect on what he says.

So is La Greening about to abandon the pretence that we have a 'privatised railway'?

UPDATE: This from a clearly concerned Captain Deltic...

Where will it all end?

Some of that subsidy goes to the ROSCOs. Let's have their directors salaries.

Then there are the suppliers who profit from NR's subsidy.

To paraphrase Pastor Niemoller, first they came for the Network Rail Board and I didn't speak out, then they came for the TOC Chief Executives and so on.

Hmm, I make my living from writing about this industry. How long before this reaches as far as the jackals of the railway press?