David Cameron is under pressure to intervene to halt multi-million pound bonuses for top businessmen, after it emerged that bank and rail bosses are in line for huge top-up payments.
Labour is to force a Commons vote next Tuesday on a call to end the "bonus culture" at the banks. It is timed to head off plans for Bob Diamond, the chief executive of Barclays, to land a bonus in shares worth up to £10m – seven-and-a-half times his £1.35m salary.
Although Barclays is not part-owned by the state, like the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, Labour argues that it was rescued by the Government's bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, which prevented the contagion spreading to banks that remained in private hands.
The Opposition is also demanding that the Government blocks a bonus scheme under which the six executive directors of Network Rail could win top-ups worth 60 per cent of their salary. The company receives a £4bn-a-year taxpayers' subsidy.
Sir David Higgins, the chief executive, could eventually get a £340,000 payout on top of his £560,000 salary. This week Network Rail, which is in charge of the country's rail infrastructure, admitted health and safety breaches over the deaths of two teenagers killed at a level crossing in Essex. The rail regulator has judged the company to be in breach of its licence due to a deteriorating performance.
The other bosses in line for bonuses are group finance director Patrick Butcher (who is paid £350,000), operations director Robin Gisby (£330,000), director of asset management Peter Henderson (£440,000), investment projects director Simon Kirby (£330,000), and planning and development director Paul Plummer (£310,000).
Last night Network Rail insisted "no decision has been made on bonuses".