Royal Mail boss says government pay-setting is 'broken'

Moya Greene
Image caption Moya Greene took over as chief executive of Royal Mail in 2010

Moya Greene, the chief executive of Royal Mail, has said the system of setting the pay for the heads of government-backed companies is "hopelessly broken".

Ms Greene also said she had been "deeply offended" by criticism of her pay and benefits.

She was replying to an email from a member of the public, who questioned the £250,000 housing allowance she had been given and then offered to return.

Her reply was sent to the Guardian.

Ms Greene received almost £1.5m in pay and benefits in the last financial year.

"I took on a company in grave difficulty," she wrote in her email.

"I was here for a full 15 months before officials and/or ministers deigned to explain the exact basis upon which I would be paid. I had long resigned my previous position."

She moved from her native Canada to the UK to take up her position in 2010.

In a statement, Royal Mail said: "In the exceptional circumstances of the chief executive's relocation and commitment to the UK, additional assistance, on the purchase of a home, was offered given the difference in residential costs between the UK and Canada."

"The chief executive was not involved in the decision and has voluntarily offered to return this assistance."

Ms Greene added that the climate in which executives try to run businesses in the UK remained "highly politicised" and blamed the press for aggravating this situation.

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