UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour has condemned the ‘greedy and disgusting’ pay packets of HS2 railway bosses after a report revealed 46 of its staff are earning more than the Prime Minister. She said it was ‘sickening’ to see so much money being wasted on a project which would cut through historic parts of the British countryside, for the benefit of just a small minority of commuters.
A report in the Financial Times has revealed that HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby is the highest paid civil servant in the UK, bringing in £750,000 a year. Jim Crawford, managing director of the infrastructure division, is on a salary of £393,000, the report says, while chairman Sir David Higgins makes £242,400 – despite working just a three-day week.
Mrs Seymour said: “The greed of this project is frankly unbelievable. The HS2 wage bill is £37 million, spread among 626 staff – that’s an average wage of £58,809, which is more than twice the UK average. It is disgusting to see such huge sums being thrown at a vanity project which the majority of people in the UK neither want, nor need. The budget seems to be going up every week.
“No wonder concerns are being raised that HS2 is draining resources from Network Rail, which is desperately in need of every penny it can find, to keep the existing UK rail infrastructure in good working order. HS2 is not a high-speed rail link it’s a gravy train for overpaid executives.”
She added: “How much money needs to be thrown at this until common sense prevails and HS2 is scrapped?
“What rail passengers want is an affordable, comfortable, reliable and efficient rail network system that delivers from south to north, and east to west. We already have a network in place, but it is desperate for improvement.
“Meanwhile, the victims of HS2 who are set to see their communities torn apart are in total despair, and have not been awarded adequate compensation.”