Ferry fiasco boss in line for MORE bonus cash

By Michael Blackley Scottish Political Editor



dmg media (UK)



THE boss of the nationalised shipyard at the centre of Scotland’s ferries fiasco is in line for further bonus payments despite Humza Yousaf saying they should end. Ferguson Marine chief executive David Tydeman will continue to be eligible for performancerelated pay. He received almost £40,000 in bonuses in 2022-23 and will be eligible for further payments in the current financial year following an internal review. Two CalMac ferries being built at the Port Glasgow shipyard have faced major delays and cost overruns. Senior managers were handed £87,000 of performance-related bonus payments in 2020-21. It was confirmed earlier this year that a further £47,000 of payments were being made to eight managers for performance in 2022-23. At the time, Mr Yousaf said he had made it clear that no further bonuses should be paid. Tory transport spokesman Graham Simpson said: ‘Given that these ferries have yet to sail, are wildly overbudget, and this counts as one of the greatest scandals of the SNP’s time in office, people will be flabbergasted that bonuses are even a possibility. ‘The Scottish public expect someone to take responsibility for this fiasco. Yet instead of ministerial resignations, they see yet more public money handed out.’ When he appeared in front of the Scottish parliament’s public audit committee in June, Ferguson Marine Port Glasgow chairman Andrew Miller defended the use of bonuses – and attempted to rebrand them as ‘retention incentives’. He denied there was still a ‘gravy train culture’ and claimed the removal of the payments would put the future of the yard at risk. In a statement yesterday, Mr Miller said: ‘Attracting and retaining the highest calibre of people is vitally important to securing the future of the shipyard. Equally, the remuneration committee has a duty to ensure that stringent KPIs (key performance indicators) are met by people in senior roles. ‘A sensible balance must be struck which I believe we have achieved; Mr Tydeman received only 40 per cent of his “at risk retention element” of his contract, given that key KPIs and milestones for delivery of both dualfuel vessels were not met. ‘In terms of the current financial year, we have further restricted the “salary at risk’’ potential; only Mr Tydeman will be eligible for bonuses in the future.’ THE concept of rewarding failure is hardwired into the public sector – and the CalMac ferries scandal provides another extraordinary illustration of the problem. It defies belief that David Tydeman, boss of the nationalised shipyard at the centre of the long-running row, has cashed in on performance-related bonuses – with more in the pipeline. Yet two CalMac vessels under construction on the Clyde have yet to set sail after countless delays and cost overruns, with the total price-tag estimated at £360million, up from the original cost of £97million. Mr Tydeman told MSPs last month that building the ferries had been more difficult than constructing a £1billion Royal Navy warship. And he revealed that some £35million had been wasted on redesigns because of major flaws in the original blueprints. If bonuses were truly linked purely to performance, Mr Tydeman wouldn’t get any extra cash. It is simply obscene that anyone involved in this calamitous project should be raking in bonuses, given its glacial pace and rapidly escalating costs. Humza Yousaf said he would stamp out the bonuses earlier this year – but it turned out to be yet another hollow pledge from a failing First Minister. He is fond of talking tough but less keen on taking firm action when it counts, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab for his meaningless rhetoric. Mr Yousaf must ensure that not a single penny more is wasted on bonuses in this ocean-going fiasco.