Quarter of HS2 staff earn over £100,000, FOI data reveals

Written by Emilio Casalicchio on 8 August 2018 in News
News

Some 112 staff are on more than £150,000 while 15 take home more than £251,000

An artist’s impression of HS2’s proposed Euston station. Credit: Grimshaw Architects/PA Wire

A quarter of staff working on the new HS2 rail project are paid £100,000 or more, freedom of information data has revealed.

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

This is 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 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, 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 £55.7bn.”

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Emilio Casalicchio
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Emilio Casalicchio is chief reporter for PoliticsHome, where a version of this story first appeared

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