Carillion papers offer further evidence of ‘greed on stilts’

Carillion bosses more focused on pay packets rather than balance sheets
Carillion bosses more focused on pay packets rather than balance sheets

A series of papers concerning the Carillion Remuneration Committee published by a joint parliamentary inquiry into the controversial collapse of the construction giant have been branded “greed on stilts” by one MP.

Both the Work and Pensions Committee and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS) have launched a probe into the governance and management of Carillion in the wake of the firm’s downfall.

Labour MP Frank Field, who chairs the Work and Pensions Committee, issued a scathing verdict of the published correspondence, claiming: “It’s greed on stilts, pure and simple.”

Fellow chair, Labour MP Rachel Reeves who heads up the BEIS Committee, argued the written exchanges were “further evidence” that Carillion bosses were “focused on their own pay packets”.

Ms Reeves offered a withering verdict of the papers in a statement, stating: “These RemCo (Remuneration Committee) papers are further evidence that when the walls were falling down around them, Carillion bosses were focused on their own pay packets rather than their obligation to address the company’s deteriorating balance sheets.

“While these directors could still walk off with bonuses intact, workers were left fearing for their jobs and suppliers faced ruin.”

She added: “Carillion had a notorious reputation for late payments to suppliers.

But while suppliers were waiting up to 120 days to be paid, Carillion directors were doing their upmost to ensure there was no impediment to their receipt of fat pay and bonuses.

“Finally, when even the Carillion RemCo considered asking for directors to return their bonuses, the system and culture was so dysfunctional, and the terms and clawback provisions so weak, that even this meek step was ruled out”.

The Committees have written to the former chair of the Carillion Remuneration Committee with a series of further questions.

The Government is looking to quash company efforts to protect executive bonuses amid criticism of Carillion’s pay policies following its controversial collapse.

Business Secretary Greg Clark confirmed plans to review the so-called clawback provisions while being quizzed by the BEIS, and Work and Pensions Committees last week.