Energy Secretary Ed Davey took the flak from his Labour counterpart today for his department handing out millions in bonuses to staff while families struggle to pay their bills.
Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint claimed figures obtained by Labour raised “serious questions”, with more than 100 employees apparently given bonuses bigger than the typical annual household energy bill.
She said: “Hard-pressed families and pensioners struggling to make ends meet will be astonished that out of touch Ministers at the Department for Energy and Climate Change have paid their staff over a million pounds in bonuses, while energy bills have soared.”
According to Consumer Focus the average annual energy bill at the beginning of 2012 was 13.3% higher than January last year.
Ms Flint added: “Edward Davey has serious questions to answer about why his Department is paying out so much in bonuses, while everyone else is struggling with soaring energy bills.”
DECC justified the bonuses by suggesting they help improve policy making.
A spokesperson said: “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. 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”.