Motability Operations’ CEO under scrutiny for alleged £2 million bonus
Motability Operations has come under fire from popular national newspaper Daily Mail once again for allegedly awarding its CEO, Mike Betts, an additional £2 million bonus on top of his £1.7 million earnings.
Contracted by Motability (the charity) to operate the Motability Car, Powered Wheelchair & Scooter Scheme, Motability Operations has run the Scheme since the late 70s with the objective of providing a ‘worry-free’ mobility vehicle leasing to qualifying recipients.
The organisation supplies vehicles to disabled people in return for an amount taken directly from their Disability Living Allowances (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) – the only organisation allowed direct access to the benefits.
The organisation had come under scrutiny earlier in the year when the Daily Mail reported Motability Operations had accrued over £2 billion in public funds and paid its senior management team large salaries and bonuses, including £1.7 million to CEO Mike Betts.
The newspaper writes that it is thought Mr Betts will receive the “loyalty bonus” in the near future.
Frank Field, Chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, told the Daily Mail on the 3rd December: “The idea that Mr Betts deserves a £2 million bonus as well as £1.7 million a year defies belief and raises further serious questions about how Motability is run.
“If this information has been withheld from MPs, someone is for the high jump. I am referring this to the NAO.”
The newspaper said that Motability has declined to say whether the CEO has been awarded a £2 million bonus, but denied hiding information about Mike’s pay.
A Motability spokesman is reported to have said that ‘full details’ of Mike’s pay had been given to the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, stating: “Our reporting of all executive remuneration is fully in line with the Companies Act.”
Mike’s current £1.7 million earnings were criticised earlier this year by Conservative MP Nigel Mills, who called the wages “hefty.” The Charity Commission added that the CEO’s wages could be seen as excessive and could damage Motability Operations’ reputation.
Alongside being criticised for paying Mike Betts too much money, the Daily Mail claimed earlier this year that Motability has accrued a £2.4 billion cash reserve of taxpayers’ money.
In response to this, Motability said that the newspaper had misunderstood this figure and that the money is rather used to buy cars for disabled people. The charity added that the £2.4 billion also protects the organisation from the “business risks it faces.”
Following an inquiry into the Motability Scheme in May, the Treasury and Work & Pensions Committees unanimously agreed that senior pay at Motability Operations is “unacceptable” and the organisation’s large reserves are out of proportion to the risks it faces.
The National Audit Office’s (NAO) report into Motability is due to be published on the 7th of December.