Bonus payments come under scrutiny
A charity chief is in the firing line after it was revealed his salary topped £430,000.
Simon Cooke, the chief executive of Marie Stopes International, one of the country’s largest providers of abortion clinics, saw his pay increase from £173,000 to £217,250 within a year, topped up by a performance-related bonus of the same amount.
The eye-watering sum was branded “obscene” by Mark Flannagan, the former chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, who said bonuses paid to charity chiefs must be stopped.
Writing in Third Sector, Flannagan said: “No matter how important your organisation’s mission, I cannot see how anyone can justify almost doubling what is already an extremely large salary for a charity boss.”
The sum puts Cooke in the top five highest paid charity bosses in the UK although previous years saw Cooke receiving bigger bonuses of £233,303 in 2016 and £251,831 in 2015. However his salary was lower.
Top salaries at the bigger organisations have come under intense scrutiny over the past few years following well-publicised charity scandals.
Marie Stopes responded by saying it employs over 11,000 people, and manages more than £290 million annually.
“The CEO’s remuneration package is set by the board of trustees, as part of their duty to ensure our organisation has the best leadership in place to deliver against ambitious targets,” said a spokesperson.
Chief executive salaries for charity bosses however are considerably lower than other sectors while research earlier this year showed Scottish charity bosses earn around 9% less than their UK counterparts.