Quarter of HS2 workers on pay deals over ????k

Quarter of HS2 workers on pay deals over ????k

The news comes despite the government insisting it is keeping a tough grip on the cost of the controversial project.

Some 318 people – out of the 1,346 employed on the new high-speed railway – are earning at least £100,000 in salary and perks, according to a information given to The Times under the Freedom of Information Act.

This number is an increase compared with the 155 who were paid six figures in 2015/16, the newspaper reported.

Some 112 people are receiving more than £150,000 annually and 15 have pay packets topping £251,000.

An HS2 Ltd spokeswoman said In a highly technical project of the scale and complexity of HS2 it is necessary to employ the right level of expertise and knowledge to deliver the programme successfully.

As the project moves increasingly towards construction, as does our need for highly technical support increase.

HS2 Ltd is committed to controlling costs and take our responsibility to taxpayers money very seriously, and the programme remains on track and within our funding envelope.

The pay figures include salaries, bonuses and pension contributions.

It was also reported that the company spent more than £600m on consultants in the most recent financial year, more than double the amount spent the previous year.

The £55.7bn project has angered environmentalists who are worried about potential damage to the land, with other critics attacking the delays and ballooning cost of HS2.

A government spokesman said We are keeping a tough grip on costs and the HS2 project remains on budget at £55.7bn.

As the future backbone of our national rail network, HS2 is vital for delivering better connections between our major cities with faster and more frequent services, acting as a catalyst for jobs, housing and economic growth.

As this significant project moves towards construction, it is essential that HS2 Ltd continues to increase its workforce, attracting the world-class skills and expertise necessary to deliver the project successfully.

The first phase of the high-speed railway is due to open between London and Birmingham in December 2026.

Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe will launch in 2027, followed by Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to Leeds, in 2033.

News Source SkyNews

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