MPs call on Motability to “stop making excuses” and properly reform its financial management
The Treasury and Work and Pensions Committees are calling for the governors of the Motability charity to “stop making excuses”, provide full evidence to the committees’ ongoing investigations and fully implement the National Audit Office’s (NAO) calls for reforms to the scheme’s financial management.
Motability has submitted evidence to the committees, but with certain parts redacted, to which the committees have responded that they are concerned about the levels of state aid and financial management of the organisation.
Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “We are clear, the NAO is clear, the Government is clear: Motability must step up, now, and demonstrate the transparency and accountability befitting an organisation that enjoys huge amounts of taxpayer’s support.
“Stop making excuses, start channelling all your vast resources into what Motability does best: giving freedom and mobility to so many disabled people.”
An NAO report last year on the Motability scheme raised questions about its governance, which the committees believe operates as a monopoly while still receiving generous tax reliefs and support from the Government that isn’t available to the vast majority of private companies.
Additionally, a joint report by the Committees in 2018 found that Motability “badly needs a new roadmap” for its finances. The NAO report also revealed the full extent of a controversial and “obscene” planned bonus for the Chief Executive.
According to the committees, Motability Operations now has “serious questions to answer” regarding the information they provided to Parliament. The committees have drawn attention to the scheme’s excessively large reserves and the chief executive’s hefty bonus, saying that there is now huge scope to improve the lives of disabled claimants without asking taxpayers for more money.
Motability Operations’ CEO Mike Betts announced in December 2018 that he will stand down from his position by May 2020, following the news of his large bonus.
However, the committees feel that Motability is still not taking the NAO or the committees seriously, as the governors of Motability failed to provide full details of the recommendations of their internal governance review, attempting instead to hide behind “commercial sensitivity”.
The NAO has confirmed no such exemption applies to those recommendations and the committees have instructed Motability to provide the full unredacted information.
Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant. So it’s extremely disappointing that Motability is refusing to provide our committees with the evidence that we have requested.
“We will continue to push for full disclosure to ensure that disabled people are provided with the best possible support.”