HS2 Ltd want 20-30 people ‘Above salary of Prime Minister’ within next six months.

Speaking on the BBC Newsnight programme, Sir David Higgins, the new chair of HS2 Ltd has said the project will need “20 to 30 senior people to be paid more than the Prime Minister, within the next six months.” He justified this by saying “The worst money you can save is skimping on paying the best people.” David Cameron earns £140,000 per year.

Given this, it was not a surprise that he refused to guarantee that the project, the £50bn price of which is worked out on 2011 figures, will not go over budget. In May it was revealed that 16 contracts which were signed for a value of £101m were all over budget, running at a cost of £188m.

As part of a new track, Higgins said that HS2 is “Not about trains, it’s about people”, claiming it would distribute wealth throughout the nation, despite the fact many economists believe HS2 will suck more economic activity to London opposed to spread it towards the North. When this point was put to him, he said “It’ll do both.”

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said:

“Last year, David Higgins was given a brief of bringing the costs of HS2 down, but when he delivered his ‘HS2 Plus’ report, he hadn’t saved a single penny. Taxpayers have been bemused so far with the number of exorbitant salaries paid by HS2 Ltd to people, who like him, have been proved to be totally incompetent after being given a remit and completely failing to achieve it.”

“When he was appointed, David Higgins was told to bring costs down, but now he won’t even say he will stop costs going up. The reason for that is simple, because he has no interest in keeping costs down, he wants to stick with the clearly stated principle of HS2, that those in charge can run their own gravy train.”

“Higgins has now come up with a new set of spin for HS2, saying its ‘about people’, not trains. If that was the case, the £50bn investment would be spread out throughout the country, opposed to benefitting a very select few. If you want to rebalance the economy, there are much better ways of spending £50bn and rising to do that.”

5 comments to “HS2 Ltd want 20-30 people ‘Above salary of Prime Minister’ within next six months.”
  1. HS2 cannot right the wrongs with Route 3 Phase 1 by paying people so much. The damage was done by too few in such a rush and no in depth scrutiny and transport corridor planning for the wrong type of rail services. Wrong wrong wrong will be followed by dongs dongs dongs. The Coalition failed to repair the Labour mistakes by forcing Route 3 Phase 1 against all the public and specialist wisdom. No longer sensible to continue with the current Route 3 Phase 1 as changes and some large changes required for more north south rail movements.

  2. Well I suppose that they had to notice sooner or later that they do not have the best staff on board this woefully mismanaged disaster.
    More gravy for the train!

  3. I think that I may have suggested this before,Joe, but with your experience and obvious grasp of the affair, you really should offer your services to Mr. Higgins .
    Working on the’ inside’ you could soon knock a few heads together and put things right,I’m sure.

  4. With all this money floating about there should be no problem sorting out all the people along the route with a proper compenionsion package or are we all having to give away our homes to pay the extra wage bill ?

  5. The devaluation of properties and distorted valuation of executives continues at DFT and HS2 for the few who are poorly planning the future needs of the 21st Century transport delivery. Such a clustering around poor practices to have planned the slope in the Chilterns current tunnel to produce extra heating in the London sections and to try to apply regeneration within HS2 which will not work sufficiently well with the train spacings throughout the under-demanded working day. A route of only one track each way which does not work with intermediate stations leading to more people depending on the roads in and out of London taking congestion to a crawl. Stripping the future engineers from the Network Rail to a paper railway. Cameron is alledged to have said to have the opinion that HS2 is needed because our European neighbours has these. Poor judgment will result in this folly displacing this PM in May 2015. Spending £200M on HS2 for a project some Whitehallers are alledged to suggest is questioned in the Departments and certainly by the opposing MPs. Ten to one in favour of this folly which decreases the attractiveness of London for the people within the corridors along the A41, M40 and M4. A growing threat to wellbeing.

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