The way in which the Motability scheme is run needs a complete overhaul, according to MPs heading a Parliamentary committee, with one suggesting that it “may have lost its way”, after revelations emerged earlier this year that its boss was paid a £1.7m salary.
The mobility scooter, powerchair and car leasing scheme was found to be stockpiling funds of more than £2bn in February and has since faced scrutiny from MPs and regulatory bodies, with the Work and Pensions Secretary submitting an urgent request to the National Audit Office to investigate.
A Parliamentary committee, chaired by Nicky Morgan MP, said that the “high levels of executive pay and significant financial reserves are difficult to square with the honourable objectives of the scheme”. She added: “It seems that Motability may have lost its way.”
Motability has defended boss Mike Betts’s £1.7m remuneration package, stating he is paid on a comparison with FTSE 250 firms and that his pay is justified due to the scheme’s performance.
The committee claimed that Motability’s £2.4bn of funds were ‘needless’ and the government has said the National Audit Office will now look into the case.
The government has been asked to explain why the Motability scheme, which is partly funded by disability benefits, is an appropriate use of public money when the group that runs it, Motability Operations, is a monopoly and has no competition.
Frank Field MP, chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “The levels of pay pocketed by its executives and the cash reserves it is hoarding are totally out of whack with reality of its position in the market.”
Motability Operations said its £2.4bn of funds is not ‘spare cash’ and insists it does good and important work helping disabled people to access mobility equipment they would otherwise be unable to afford.