| 11.2°C Belfast

Ofgem staff bonus payouts revealed


Ofgem gave hundreds of its workers bonuses in 2010 and 2011

Ofgem gave hundreds of its workers bonuses in 2010 and 2011

Ofgem gave hundreds of its workers bonuses in 2010 and 2011

The energy watchdog has paid more than £1 million in bonuses to staff in the past two years.

Ofgem gave hundreds of employees the rewards in 2010 and 2011 - some in excess of £20,000.

Consumer group the TaxPayers' Alliance criticised the payouts, saying it was "outrageous" that staff at the watchdog have been rewarded, considering it has "overseen devastating rises" in bills.

The official figures reveal a total of £602,969 was dished out to 266 staff in 2010, at an average of £2,267 per person, while last year 346 employees shared a bonus pot of £515,047, at an average of £1,489.

Two members of staff received more than £20,000 in 2010, 14 got more than £10,000 across 2010 and 2011, and 38 pocketed more than £5,000 over the two years.

The details were published after a written question to Parliament from shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint was answered.

It also emerged that 46 staff received in excess of £2,267 (the 2010 average) in 2010, dropping to 32 in 2011, while 20 employees got more than £1,489 (the 2011 average) in 2010, rising to 42 in 2011.

Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It's outrageous that so many staff are doing so well out of complicated and ineffective policies.

"Ofgem is not exempt from the current need to find savings and must keep its own costs under control. The watchdog has overseen devastating rises in household fuel bills. Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for this bonus bonanza too."

A spokesman from Ofgem said: "Ofgem's pay awards are set in accordance to Cabinet guidance in the same way as for all civil servants. Our base pay has been frozen and the scope and level of performance-related awards has been reduced in line with Government rules. Just over £500,000 from our overall salary budget last year was shared among Ofgem staff according to their performance."