A fresh row over executive pay flared today when a leading union claimed plans were being drawn up for a new bonus scheme for executives at Network Rail.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said senior bosses at the rail infrastructure firm would be in line to share £1.7 million in 2014.
NR said no executives will receive a bonus this year and no decision had been taken about any future payments.
Any long-term arrangements, covering 2012-15, will be voted on by members.
NR, which holds its annual meeting later this month, said a letter had been sent to members from the chairman of the remuneration committee, which pointed out that the company faced a "worsening executive retention and recruitment issue".
The letter said the remuneration committee was proposing to increase the base salary of executive directors in line with the outcome of an internal management pay review.
Suggested performance-related retention payments will be put to the AGM for approval.
The details are being discussed at a members' workshop in London today.
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said: "These people must be living on Planet Zog if they do not understand the public's outrage over unjustified bonuses.
"NR is in all but name a public company receiving £4 billion a year in direct subsidy.
"Passengers want to see that money go into producing a better and cheaper railway, not into the wallets of directors who are already handsomely rewarded."