MPs yesterday demanded an inquiry into a public car scheme for the disabled that is hoarding £2.4billion.
The Mail revealed yesterday that Motability had run up the huge surplus – and that its boss was on £1.7million a year, or 11 times the Prime Minister’s salary.
Peers and MPs expressed astonishment at the massive pay, perks and luxury lifestyles of the charitable scheme’s chiefs.
Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Meg Hillier expressed surprise at the level of salaries inside the Motability organisation which provides adapted cars for disabled people
Motability provides specially adapted cars for disabled people, file photograph
The Department of Work and Pensions was accused of losing control over the non-profit firm, which arranges cars for wheelchair users and others in return for their disability allowances.
Meg Hillier, who chairs the Commons public accounts committee, yesterday promised to summon the ministry’s top civil servant as soon as possible.
‘This is all taxpayers’ money, money given to benefits recipients, and it’s funding salaries of this scale – it’s unbelievable,’ said the Labour MP. ‘It’s making a bit of a joke of government oversight when, once again, an organisation is getting away with huge, telephone-number salaries.’
The DWP, which pays around £2billion a year to Motability, is said to have been rocked by the revelations.
‘They were absolutely desperate to shift it away from them,’ a source claimed. ‘They went straight to the Charity Commission to say “You deal with this”.’
The Charity Commission later released a statement saying it had warned Motability about its finances.
The Mail’s investigation showed that chief executive Mike Betts’s pay and perks have soared in his ten years at the helm. The 55-year-old owns a £5million apartment overlooking Tower Bridge and takes Caribbean holidays.
Motability insists the £2.4billion surplus is a necessary buffer against risks such as changes in car prices. It says its executives are the best in the business and deserve their high pay, which consists mainly of bonuses for high performance.