Bureaucrats in charge of the Government’s controversial green policies have benefited from a multi-million-pound bonus bonanza since the last election.
The total amount of performance-related handouts given to civil servants at the Department for Energy and Climate Change has almost tripled since Labour’s final year in office to £9million.
One official received a bonus of £12,000, while others received payments of more than £7,000, to reward them for their work promoting renewable power such as wind farms.
Last night MPs lambasted the department for handing out so much at a time when consumers’ energy bills were going up as a result of the very green policies they are working on.
Last year, the DECC admitted that its green policies – which will fund a new generation of wind farms and nuclear reactors – will add an average of £95 to gas and electricity bills.
A separate parliamentary question has revealed more questionable expenditure at DECC, where more than £7.6million has been paid out over the last two years in pay-offs for staff who have left the department. It means 141 people leaving have pocketed an average of £54,595 each.
And earlier this month, the Daily Mail revealed that the department has gone on a recruitment spree since the last election, with staff numbers soaring by more than a quarter since May 2010.
Now, thanks to a series of parliamentary questions by the Tory MP Priti Patel, it has emerged that the department – headed by Lib Dem Ed Davey – has also been spending millions on bonuses.
In 2011/12, the latest year for which figures are available, some £9,072,483 was spent on bonuses and other payments on top of salary.
This is a 156 per cent rise on the £3,538,274 total in 2009/10, Labour’s last full year in office.
The figures show that 1,062 staff received bonuses and other payments. The 20 top payments included one payout of £12,000, five of £10,000, and 14 payouts of £7,500.
To make things worse, the independent Committee on Climate Change, which advises the Government on energy policy has had its own bonus spree, with taxpayer-funded bonuses increasing by 43 per cent over the past four years. The highest was £15,000.
Miss Patel said: ‘Families will be shocked to see their taxes being used to fund a dangerously expensive and excessive bonus and entitlement culture among bureaucrats who are already handsomely paid.
‘Not only are officials at DECC detached from reality as they plan to destroy our landscape with wind turbines and drive up energy costs with their green energy fantasies, they also have no concept of the need to make savings in Whitehall.’
A spokesman for DECC said the extra payments included, as well as bonuses, overtime and other superannuation costs.
She said: ‘We are working very hard to ensure energy bills are as affordable as possible.
‘The Department focuses bonuses on its best performers. We believe performance awards help drive high performance towards achieving important policy objectives.’
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