Labour fury as a quarter of HS2 staff paid more than £100,000

Posted On: 
8th August 2018

Labour has blasted the Government after it emerged a quarter of staff working on the new HS2 rail project are paid £100,000 or more.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling
Credit: 
PA Images

Some 318 officials were paid at least £100,000 in salary and perks last year, up from 155 in 2015/16, according to freedom of information data obtained by the Times.

The eye-watering salaries come despite assurances from Transport Secretary Chris Grayling that costs for the ultra-fast train line would be kept under control.

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The figures show 112 staff were on more than £150,000 a year when salary, bonus and pension contributions are accounted for, and 15 were on more than £251,000.

Under government rules at least 47 of the salaries over £142,500 will have been signed off by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss after being given the green light by Mr Grayling.

Shadow Treasury Minister Lyn Brown said: “Liz Truss should hang her head in shame for signing off the use of taxpayers’ money to fund the extortionate pay packets of HS2 bosses.”

However, according to the Times, Ms Truss managed to cut 20% off of some of the contracts by restructuring them.

It comes amid concerns the project to link London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds by 2033 will bust its public sector budget.

A spokesperson for HS2 Ltd said: “In a highly technical project of the scale and complexity of HS2 it is necessary to employ the right level of expertise and knowledge to deliver the programme successfully.

“HS2 Ltd is committed to controlling costs and take our responsibility to taxpayers’ money very seriously, and the programme remains on track and within our funding envelope.”

A government spokesperson said: “We are keeping a tough grip on costs and the HS2 project remains on budget at £55.7 billion.”