Motability boss Mike Betts to quit after £2.2m bonus revealed

The head of a taxpayer-backed business that supplies cars and scooters to disabled people is to step down after it was revealed he is in line for a £2.2m bonus.

Motability Operations chief executive Mike Betts had already faced criticism over his annual pay package of £1.7m, which was recently branded “totally unacceptable” by MPs.

But a public spending watchdog has found he is also set to scoop a bonus which was worth £1.86m in September and is likely to reach about £2.2m by 2022.

The National Audit Office (NAO) also found that Motability customers had been charged £390m “more than was required” since 2008.

Frank Field, chairman of the House of Commons work and pensions committee, said: “It is beyond appalling to learn that money that could have been used to improve the lives of disabled people will be lining his pockets instead.”

A Motability Operations spokesman said Mr Betts would resign “following the implementation of actions agreed as an outcome of the NAO review”, which would be “no later than May 2020”.

Motability is made up of the operations business and two charities, accounting for about 10% of all new cars bought in the UK.

An individual’s mobility welfare payments are transferred to Motability Operations in return for a leased car, along with insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance.

The NAO found that remuneration for executive directors has been “generous” and linked to performance targets set at levels “easily exceeded” since 2008.

As a result, in the first seven years of a bonus scheme, five executive directors received £15.3m in total.

The work and pensions and treasury committees said potential rival companies could not compete with Motability because it receives substantial tax breaks from the government – worth up to £888m last year – and does not face any competition when tendering for the contract to run the scheme.

NAO chief Sir Amyas Morse said there was “much to be proud of” at Motability, but those with a interest in the organisation, including the government must give “far-reaching consideration to the scheme” and in particular whether its “governance and accountability arrangements are robust enough”.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said the NAO report “strengthens our concerns regarding Motability Operations’ financial model” and insisted the department is committed to working with the charity to achieve “improved outcomes for disabled people”.

Responding to the report, the Motability charity said it would “seek improved mechanisms to better influence Motability Operations’ executive remuneration”‘.

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