The million-pound public servant

Combing through the accounts of government quangos for another story, I stumbled on this bumper paycheque at the government-owned Tote.

Full text is on the Sunday Times website here, or after the fold.

Public servant earns £1.15m

National bookmaker Trevor Beaumont’s pay was boosted by £700,000 in thanks to a combined performance bonus and ‘retention payment’

Cal Flyn
The Sunday Times, 24 October 2010

The head of the Tote, the national bookmaker, has emerged as the highest paid public sector executive, with a package of £1.15m.

Trevor Beaumont’s pay was boosted by £700,000 in thanks to a combined performance bonus and “retention payment”, awarded to prevent him from defecting as the government prepares to privatise the Tote.

Emma Boon, campaign manager at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “This pay package beggars belief. No public servant should be getting hundreds of thousands of pounds in extras, especially at a time when the government is cutting spending. This is way out of step with remuneration for equivalent private sector roles.”

The retention fee was approved by the Tote’s executive board in September 2009 after Gordon Brown had announced plans to sell it.

Critics point out that the Tote has faced the possibility of privatisation since the idea was first mooted in the 1980s.

George Osborne, the chancellor, announced in his June budget that the coalition would continue to search for a buyer, but the process is yet to begin. Bidding is not expected to open until the new year.

Beaumont, who joined the Tote in 2004, lives with his wife in a £650,000 house in Tarleton, Lancashire. They sold their second home, a detached house in Chelmsford, Essex, in June.

Beaumont’s responsibilities include overseeing a staff of 3,300 at a body that turns over £2.8 billion. The Tote has a duty to reinvest profits in horseracing.

Other public sector chiefs with similar earnings had far more onerous duties. Adam Crozier, who received a £1.3m package at the Royal Mail in 2008-9, led a 160,000-strong staff and had a £9.2 billion turnover. He quit to head ITV.

Beaumont shrugged off criticism, telling The Sunday Times: “The incentive payment works in the same way that it would in a private company. In this case it is accumulated over three years, depending on performance. It is not a one-off.”

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