Firms led by overpaid bosses need a ‘reality check’ - let's get people back to the office, says Nick Ferrari

22 January 2024, 18:43 | Updated: 23 January 2024, 13:56

Nick Ferrari says bosses need to 'get a grip' and start justifying their huge pay packets with services that actually work
Nick Ferrari says bosses need to 'get a grip' and start justifying their huge pay packets with services that actually work. Picture: Alamy/LBC
Nick Ferrari

By Nick Ferrari

"We all rely on the Royal Mail," Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer declared this morning when I interviewed her about the latest in the lengthening list of shambles to befall our once beloved Post Office.

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Of course she is right, but what comfort are those words to a child expecting a birthday card or a hard-pressed business in need of reliable post to stay afloat?

These concerns from Ms Frazer's constituency and beyond were what I put to her on my show after the ill-judged and ill-thought out scheme to scrap Saturday deliveries emerged.

Fortunately the government was listening and within hours a spokesman for Rishi Sunak conceded that the Prime Minister "would not countenance" ending Saturday services.

One can only be grateful that the government were listening to your views on my show and common sense prevailed.

We caught this one - but there are many others.

This is only one example of the wider malaise infecting many of the institutions and the bosses 'running' many of the great British corporations and quangos.

And to rub salt into the wounds these bosses are raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds in salaries, share options and - I kid you not - bonuses.

Bonuses for what?

I wouldn't pay these people in washers.

Let's look at some of these once proud British corporations.

Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells finally handed back her CBE amid the Horizon scandal which - under her watch - saw sub-postmasters financially ruined, jailed and even commit suicide. All for the crime of trying to serve local communities reliably while using faulty software.

Ms Vennells pocketed £2.93million in - wait for it - performance-related perks and payments in lieu of pension.

Sadly, she is not the only one on corporate Britain's burgeoning roll of incompetence.

Last year the boss of Thames Water was accused of a ‘flimsy PR stunt’ by announcing she would shun her bonus. Diddums!

Sarah Bentley still enjoyed a £1.5million pay package with car, travel allowance and other benefits while we endured hosepipe bans, regular leaks and massive bills.

She is not alone. Pay packages for water industry bosses soared by as much as 20% in recent years. The average remuneration for executives at ten firms in England and Wales climbed to £1.1 million in 2021-22, up by £193,000 on average. Nice work if you can get it.

And for those of us wanting to travel, the UK’s worst performing rail firms cancel almost 200 trains a day while fares soar and bosses take home annual bonuses of up to £2.5million.

The chief financial officer of Avanti - Britain's worst performing rail company Ryan Mangold - earned £3million last year. For what?

And don't get me started on HS2.

Spiralling costs, bailout after bailout and for what? Ten minutes quicker from London to Birmingham...eventually - and that has cost us £57billion.

Last September, Mark Thurston, who presided over this mess, walked away. His pay package was nearly £700,000.

If it wasn't so unfunny, they would be a laughing stock. Being paid for failure is no incentive for making a success.

These people wouldn’t last until lunchtime in a proper private business.

It is time these people were shown the door. We don't need them poisoning the Post Office or our train companies. Shove off and ruin a business overseas if you have to, but leave our firms alone.

It is time to get rid of all the dead wood in corporate Britain and get the country working again. Rishi Sunak needs to get a grip on the failures, and if Keir Starmer wins the election, he will need to do it.

We are paying the price of too many people ‘working’ from home. People need to go to their place of work.

You know why we have offices? So you can actually do some damn work...that’s what will get Britain going again.

The country is broke, our national debt is sky high, and companies are still saying don’t come to work – they and their bosses need a reality check.