Tories criticise civil servant bonuses

The Conservatives have attacked civil service bonuses of £128 million last year.

Speaking about the annual rewards paid to staff, shadow treasury chief secretary Philip Hammond said: “Many families who are finding themselves squeezed between stagnant earnings and soaring living costs will be horrified by the use of £128 million of taxpayers’ money to pay bonuses to civil servants.

“With government failing on so many fronts, this looks like a ‘something for nothing’ culture,” he added.

The ministry of defence received the largest share of the total bonus with staff receiving £41.3 million, while the Department for Culture, Media and Sport saw staff pocketing the most with £11,000 as the highest average bonus.

Employees at the Department of Work and Pensions received a total payout of £36.6 million while the Treasury received £21.7 million in the annual payout.

Defending the size of the bonuses, a Cabinet Office spokesman told Sky News: “The average civil service salary is £20,010 and this represents excellent value for money in delivering world class public services such as paying benefits, pensions and running employment services.

“These include hard working families that are facing the current difficult economic climate like everyone else. They should be rewarded for their efforts in ensuring our public services continue to improve.

“It is widely recognised in all aspects of business that those people who contribute the most should be rewarded for their effort and the civil service has acknowledged this practice since the late 1980s,” he added.