BUS chief Ian Craig has been handed the task of overseeing the trams – but bosses today refused to reveal his new pay packet. Mr Craig – who already earns more than both the Prime Minister and First Minister as managing director at Lothian Buses – has been promoted to the new role of chief executive.
Mr Craig – who already earns more than both the Prime Minister and First Minister as managing director at Lothian Buses – has been promoted to the new role of chief executive.
However, the publicly-funded firm, which will run the trams, came under fire after rejecting calls to disclose his salary, even though it will have to make the details public next month when its renumeration report goes before the council.
Mr Craig hit the headlines last year when it was revealed he pocketed a £47,200 bonus on top of his then-£159,675 wage, leading to calls for greater public scrutiny of senior pay.
Politicians today said the public had a right to know how much he earned. Councillor Jason Rust, Conservative economy spokesman, said: “Given this is such a public position I think it is only right that the public should know exactly how much he is being paid.
“The council has a 91 per cent stake so one would hope that the transport convener, Lesley Hinds, would be asking questions.
“The figure will come out eventually once the accounts are made public in a few weeks’ time.”
Independent Lothians MSP Margo MacDonald said in the wake of the prolonged controversy over the tram project, openness and transparency were essential for future confidence.
She said: “I would urge on the company the absolute necessity of being up front about every decision, whether it be restructuring or processes or salaries.
“To build confidence in the new combined service, a real effort has to be made. They have managed to regain a bit of public confidence in recent months but there is still a lot of catching up to do.”
Green MSP Alison Johnstone said: “This promotion makes me slightly uncomfortable.
“If Lothian Buses wish to reward staff I’d rather they rewarded the rank and file rather than it being skewed towards those at the top of the pile.”
Mr Craig’s renumeration package will become known when Lothian Buses Group’s accounts are delivered to the council at its AGM in mid-June.
The council, as a shareholder, has a right to express its opinion on pay, but cannot approve or veto salaries.
Ms Hinds said: “We await the filing of this report in the coming weeks. Lothian Buses is a very well-run company and correct renumeration is needed to maintain good service, but we are committed to greater scrutiny of how it operates and pays its staff.”
A Lothian Buses spokesman said: “In line with good corporate governance, Mr Craig’s salary and benefits for the role of chief executive have been determined by the Lothian Buses remuneration committee, and benchmarked against similar commercial organisations operating in similar sectors both in Scotland and the UK. Any changes to his pay will be disclosed in the company’s annual remuneration report.”