olympics-stadiumYesterday we had the Olympic officials in front of the London Assembly to update us on progress towards the 2012 Olympic Games. Brian Coleman and myself took the opportunity to put it to representatives of the Olympic Delivery Authority that salaries and bonuses for senior management at the ODA were excessive, particularly at a time of major cutbacks in the public sector. I accused them of being the “bankers of the Olympics“, spending taxpayers’ money on generous bonuses for themselves while others are having to live with the consequences of the recession.

An examination of the ODA’s accounts for 2008-9 (pdf here pp.76-7) reveals that its chief executive earned a basic salary of £384,000 and its chairman £250,000 (for a three-day week), while salaries for the ODA’s seven directors were between £192,000 and £282,000. (This compares with the prime minster’s annual salary of £195,000.) In addition the chief executive received a bonus of £209,566, while the directors got between £38,000 and £48,000 each. Total bonuses came to £2.1 million, up from £1.7 million the previous year, out of a total wage bill of £19 million for 202 staff.

Now l have been supportive of holding the 2012 Olympics in London right from the beginning, but clearly some people are doing very well for themselves out of it. In tough times for all of us, they need to show more restraint.

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