Mike Betts, the CEO of mobility charity Motability Operations, is to step down after a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) found he had received a £1.86m bonus on top of already “generous” pay.
The firm provides the disabled with wheelchairs, cars and scooters as part of its ‘Motability’ scheme. MP Frank Field, who chairs parliament’s Work and Pensions Committee described Betts’ pay as “obscene”. Field added that he felt it was “beyond appalling to learn that money that could have been used to improve the lives of disabled people will be lining his pockets instead”.
Motability allows disabled people to exchange some of their state allowance for cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs. Motability Operations is a monopoly and faces no competition and benefits from tax concessions.
The NAO report said the company’s scheme had made more profit than intended and that customers had been charged £390m more than was required to cover lease costs. Motability said it was to make changes following the report and that Betts was to step down before 2020, once the report’s recommendations had been implemented.
Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: “Motability Operations has taken an unnecessarily conservative view of risk, holds more in reserves than arguably it needs and has also made large unplanned profits. On top of which there has been an internal view of executive performance as being ‘consistently extraordinary’, with the reward to match.”
Lord Sterling, chairman of the Motability charity, said his company accepted the recommendations but added that he felt there were “areas still open to further debate”.