I am writing to explain the remuneration practises of UK PLC towards its Board and senior executives. It has been designed not just to give them incentives to meet our goals of increasing spending and borrowing, but to make a direct contribution to those objectives by increasing the costs of our senior employees. I am quite frankly dismayed that we should now be criticised for undertaking so much investment in public services. I am surprised that shareholders should begrudge people who have successfully led so much investing, their own small share of it. These people have thought out how to increase costs by massive computerisation schemes, how to fill the jobs pages every week with unheard of new roles, have taken on many a consultant to help them spend the money and have set up a large number of new activities in our ever more popular “quango” subsidiary.They have excelled themselves at finding new ways to regulate us, and have been most productive at creating new laws.
I would expect you to thank both me and the Board for how successful this has proved. I am pleased to report that it is not just the senior people we read about that have been able to increase their expenses. They have by their leadership encouraged a spend more claim more culture throughout our organisation. At a time when we are all fighting recession, surely it is good news that there are spenders of last resort throughout the public sector that can provide some purchases to keep the economy going?
I am proud to remind you that never have state employees been as well paid as they are today. Never have they been able to undertake so many foreign trips, or go on so many seminars and courses, never have they been able before to claim so much to help them carry out their jobs. We have encouraged a great culture throughout the senior levels of our local subsidairies and our specialist “quangos” division. It was the leadership of the Board which made this possible. Where would be today if we had not undertaken so much investment in our future? Some of these people are now paid several times what Board members receive, showing how flexible we are in our approach to remuneration.
I did recently suggest a better way of getting the money into the pockets of our Directors and senior staff without the need to fill in so many forms and provide receipts. Unfortunately, and to my amazement, people were not impressed by these proposals. I thought if we gave them an Allowance for just turning up, it would increase the total spend and speed the process up, at a time when we need to spend more. Sometimes you cannot help people to help themselves. I suppose they are now so into the complex systems of form filling and box ticking which have successsfully raised costs throughout the UK that it was asking a lot to get them to exempt themselves from such a system.
We will return to reform of the kind we have pioneered elsewhere in our large organisation. We will have to propose more auditors, more box ticking, more form filling. Rest assured we will come out of this situation with spending higher and borrowing higher, as you would expect. Nothing will deflect us from our long term goal of giving UK PLC the fastest growth rate in both spending and borrowing.
Some have suggested our main competitor company has also been able to increase the expenses paid to its employees. I can assure you we are better at it than they are. Their CEO made a big mistake when he sacked his most talented expense claimer for what he did. That is no way to behave if you wish to be the best at this.
I am sure you will be delighted to learn that two bank subsidiaries expect further losses this year.I do think RBS has done us proud, being able to lose more in the first quarter of 2009, after such great figures in 2008 when they lost £24 billion. Their CEO’s salary of £1.2 million is rightly well above mine. We are working on getting the rest of our trading subsidiaries into such fine form.