The total liability the Environment Agency and the taxpayers share for the future pensions of Agency staff is now at a massive £2.5bn. There are assets, leaving a £380million deficit on these numbers. The Pension fund is valued on the assumption that staff salaries will rise by 4.6% per annum from 2015.
The Agency does not seem to be a good manager of its staff, nor able to raise productivity. Last year it increased staff numbers by 900. Despite doing this it also agreed redundancy packages for 43 people, costing us another £2.6milllion. In other words it makes bad recruitment decisions, changes its mind, gives people a pay off, yet is at the same time expanding the overall numbers considerably. Having gone to the expense and trouble of recruiting someone, why can they then find nothing for them to do, fire them, and hire twenty other people with all the costs that entails?
The Agency has seven Directors on salaries in excess of £130,000, with the best paid on nearly £200,000. That is well above the Prime Minister’s pay. It would be good to hear from the Directors of this body what they are going to do to get better value for money, and to ensure more of the £1200 million a year spend goes on flood prevention and water management. Perhaps the BBC would like to call in the Chairman or CEO and ask them, based on the figures?