Civil servants rewarded for failure

Performance-related payouts in the department which lost the personal details of 25 million people will have more than doubled in two years as a result. About £2.2 million of the 2007-8 bonuses are set to be shared between just a few hundred senior officials. The figures, disclosed after a Freedom of Information Act request by The Press Association, come after sustained criticism of HMRC since the lost child benefit discs fiasco.

Tory MP Michael Fallon, chairman of the Commons Treasury sub-committee, attacked the payments as "rewards for failure".

The new figures show bonus payments for the current financial year are estimated by HMRC to amount to £23.1 million - up 22 per cent from £18.9 million in 2006-7. In 2005-6, bonuses came to only £11 million. The department was unable to say how many staff would receive a bonus before the end of the financial period next month, although last year 38,179 benefited.

But senior civil servants receive a much larger sum than the average employee. Last year, 220 shared £1.7 million - or £7,727 per head. This year senior staff have been allocated £2.2 million, up 29 per cent, out of a total bonus pot of £2.35 million.

Bonuses for civil servants 'reward for failure' (Daily Telegraph, 19 february 2008)