Former Thames Water boss has received £ 2.8 million since he left the company, despite being fired for losses and fines while in office.
Steve Robertson, who stopped working for the company in May last year, received £ 2 million in earnings for losing his job, plus £ 777,500 paid to cover his 12-month notice period.
He had been asked to leave the board of directors of the UK’s largest water company, which serves 15 million people, after a row due to his inability to cut losses.
The details of the payment come after the Guardian revealed that the raw sewage had been pumped for more than 1,000 hours from an overflow pipe from the Thames into an environmental wetland at Olympic Park in east London last year.
Robertson, who had led the company since 2016, was embarrassed expelled aboard the Thames Water for his loss-fighting record. Ofwat, the water regulator, fined the River Thames for £ 120 million in 2018 for mismanagement of losses and said the company had “gone bankrupt” because it violated two of its legal responsibilities.
Water companies have faced increasing control over their inability to deal with losses and offer consumers good value for money while paying large sums to investors and executives. Before the December election, Jeremy Corbyn had promised to nationalize the water companies to prevent consumers from being robbed in the future.
Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Center thinktank, said that there was a clear increase in executive pay as the privatization of water companies and other utility companies did little to improve performance.
He said: “This case highlights two of the most pernicious aspects of the economic philosophy that has driven British politicians over the past 40 years: the sale of public goods for short-term gain and a naive belief that the ruling class will bring prosperity to the rest of us. “
A spokesman for Thames Water said: “Our customers will not pay for it. While with us, Steve Robertson did not receive any bonuses for two years since we prioritized investments in improving customer service.
“His payment for loss of office, which was calculated taking into account his incentives and benefits in mind, was financed through profits generated outside the regulated business. The money would otherwise be due to our shareholders. “
The company said that unregulated earnings come from commercial activities such as property searches for people buying a home. He claimed that losses were reduced by 15% last year, exceeding his regulatory target.
British water companies have delivered on average over £ 2 billion a year to shareholders since they were privatized three decades ago, according to the Guardian’s analysis released last week.