In a recent interview with Civil Servant World, Alison Munro told them that HS2 Ltd needs to be given greater freedoms from Treasury guides so that it can attract the highest paid project managers and construction workers. The highest paid director is currently earning over half a million pounds.
“We will increasingly need to be able to pay market rates,” she said. “This is not a traditional civil service activity: building a £17bn project, we are competing for people who could be out in the Middle East delivering projects, so increasingly, we do need to be able to pay market rates, and that’s one of the discussions we’re having at the moment.”
“We’re going through discussions at the moment with the Treasury and with the Cabinet Office to ensure that, going forward, we do have the freedoms that we will need as a construction company,” she added.
“The original justification for setting us up as a company was to recognise that we would need, growing over time, more freedoms and more distance from government to really be able to deliver High Speed 2 efficiently,” she explained.
However, the HS2 Ltd accounts published on 26th June showed that top salaries in HS2 Ltd are already increasing at a massive rate. The salary of the highest paid director in HS2 Ltd increased by over three times between 2012/13 and 2013/14 from around £180,000 to over £575,000.