The Government department that has failed to stop energy bills going through the roof paid out £1 million in bonuses to its civil servants last year, it was revealed today. Mandarins at the Department of Energy and Climate Change grabbed £958,783 in 2011-12 – up £133,135 on a year earlier. But in the same period many British households have been forced to pay at least £200 extra a year to heat and light their homes.
The UK now has record numbers in fuel poverty – one in five – where energy costs exceed their monthly income so they must choose to ‘heat or eat’.
Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint said that Energy Secretary Ed Davey must explain why a £1 million of bonuses have been handed out and also why it has risen as Britain suffers its worst double-dip recession for 50 years.
‘Hard-pressed families and pensioners struggling to make ends meet will be astonished that out-of-touch ministers have paid their staff £1million in bonuses,’ she told the Mirror.
‘Ed Davey has serious questions to answer about why his department is paying out so much.’
The department has also announced it will slash its £1.1billion grant scheme to help people pay bills to a news system worth £540 million.
‘We are acutely aware of how tough it is out there for consumers and we are working very hard to ensure energy bills are as affordable as possible,’ a spokesman told MailOnline.
Anger: Companies like British Gas have seen profits soar and prices rise in recent years
‘As part of this, we have a talented and hardworking team. The Department focuses bonuses on its best performers. We believe performance awards help drive high performance towards achieving important policy objectives of DECC.’
Meanwhile this week it also emerged mandarins at George Osborne’s Treasury also pocketed £1 million.
The Coalition had pledged to clamp down on performance-related payments in Whitehall, but the Chancellor’s department handed out almost the same amount as the year before, it was revealed today.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show Treasury civil servants grabbed £970,064 in bonuses in the 12 months to April this year.
A year earlier they received a total of £1,032,239, only around £60,000 more in total.
Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander and Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude wrote to all Government departments earlier this year asking them to examine their bonus structures.
It came after it was revealed around £2 million a month of taxpayers’ money went on performance-payments for Government workers.
‘It is about making sure that performance pay is there for genuine excellence and not just run-of-the-mill performance,’ Mr Alexander said.
But it appears that the message is yet to get through.
Labour MP John Mann said the Treasury payouts were ‘rewards for failure’ as the British economy continues to struggle, with some Treasury policies being blamed.