By Bill Heaney

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie, pictured right, has slammed the SNP government for sitting on its hands as top Scottish Water officials received hundreds of thousands of pounds in bonuses and allowances, while planning big increases in water bills for millions of consumers.

The delayed 2019/20 annual report published by Scottish Water yesterday revealed that three senior executives trousered £10,000 each for ‘car benefit or car allowance’ despite the vast majority of business being conducted remotely.

The Scottish Water report states clearly that all remuneration for executive members is agreed by the Scottish government prior to the appointment of a member.

In addition to the £30,000 combined car allowances which have been given, the three executive members also received a combined total of £332,000 in bonuses for 2019/20.

The tap that keeps on flowing – SW Chief Executive Douglas Millican pictured with SNP environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham.

The Chief Executive, Douglas Millican, received a whopping £93,000 in annual out-performance incentive payments (AOIP) in 2019.

The Chief Operating Officer and Finance Director received a total of £138,000 and £101,000 respectively in AOIPs for 2019 and 2020.

Jackie Baillie, who represents Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Lomond,  says that at a time when unemployment figures are skyrocketing and small businesses are struggling to survive, this money could have been put to far better use than to top up the already sizeable annual incomes of water executives.

That their glass has gone from an over- generous helping to overflowing.

Scottish Water boss Douglas Millican’s salary for 2020 – not including any bonuses or payments – is already almost ten times the size of the average Scottish salary.

Ms Baillie has said that the SNP government has big questions to answer over allowing this ‘shocking waste of public money’ to occur in the midst of a pandemic.

The Scottish Labour deputy leader and finance spokesperson, said: “This shocking waste of public money will come as a slap in the face to millions of Scots who are staring down the barrel at spiralling water price increases.

“That the SNP has stood by and allowed eye-watering bonuses that are much more than the average salary is simply extraordinary, especially during the pandemic.

“The fact that they also allowed thousands of pounds of public money for car benefits despite the fact that the vast majority of business has been conducted remotely for almost a year is a joke.

“It’s time the SNP got to grips with the damage done to the public purse and stopped these eye-watering bonuses when the cost of water bills are rising by much more than the rate of inflation. ”

Top picture: Water flowing off the hills at Spardie Linn.

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