UK Treasury rewarding themselves with £1m bonuses for failure

What double-dip recession? Treasury ‘rewarding failure’ as civil servants pocket £1m in bonuses

Civil servants shouldn’t be getting them as rest of Britain struggles, critics said today
Treasury mandarins grabbed £970,064 in bonuses in the 12 months to April this year
‘We need performance-payments to keep staff,’ Treasury tells MailOnline

By Martin Robinson
PUBLISHED: 09:47, 31 July 2012 | UPDATED: 09:56, 31 July 2012

Mandarins at George Osborne’s Treasury pocketed £1 million in bonuses in the last year despite Britain crashing into its deepest double-dip recession for 50 years.

The Coalition had pledged to clamp down on performance-related payments in Whitehall, but the Chancellor’s department handed out almost the same amount as the year before, it was revealed today.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show Treasury civil servants grabbed £970,064 in bonuses in the 12 months to April this year.

A year earlier they received a total of £1,032,239, only around £60,000 more in total.

Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander and Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude wrote to all Government departments earlier this year asking them to examine their bonus structures.

It came after it was revealed around £2 million a month of taxpayers’ money went on performance-payments for Government workers.

‘It is about making sure that performance pay is there for genuine excellence and not just run-of-the-mill performance,’ Mr Alexander said.

But it appears that the message is yet to get through.

Labour MP John Mann said the Treasury payouts were ‘rewards for failure’ as the British economy continues to struggle, with some Treasury policies being blamed.

‘It sets a bad example to everybody else when you are rewarding failure in the Treasury,’ he told the Mirror.

‘They should be the last people to be getting a bonus. It is one rule for George Osborne’s top officials who he is giving bonuses to and it is another rule for hard-pressed families across the country who he is taking money away from.’

Today the Government defended the bonuses.

A spokesman for the Treasury told MailOnline they were cutting costs but needed to offer performance-payments to keep staff.

‘Bonuses in the Treasury last year were half that paid in 2008-09, with only a quarter of staff receiving performance-related pay. Both the Permanent Secretary and the Second Permanent Secretary waived their rights to a bonus again in 2011-12,’ she said.

Although 2011/12 data for other departments is yet to be released, figures from 2010/11 show in total £22.8million was handed out to civil servants in bonuses.

The Department for Education shelled out £1.9million in both 2009/10 and 2010/11, but the proportion of the pay bill which went towards bonuses increased between the two years.

The Scotland Office also saw its bill increase – up to £3,670.

The astonishing payments during the Coalition’s first year, help explain why ministers have demanded a review of public sector bonuses.

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