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Housing Associations (CEOs)

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

7. What the five highest salaries are in 2007-08 of chief executive officers of housing associations; and if she will make a statement. (188690)

Information about chief executive salaries appears in housing associations’ annual accounts. I do not have information on 2007-08 salaries as the accounting year has not yet ended, but I have information for 2006-07, which was published in Inside Housing in September last year. The five top CEO salaries were as follows: Places for People—£258,000, Anchor Trust—£240,000, Sanctuary—£225,000, Genesis—£210,000, and Hanover—£210,000.

There is an interesting link between this question and the previous one, which I should point out. On top of the basic salaries, those five people also received bonuses each year almost equal to my salary as a Back-Bench MP, and should they retire they can receive up to £300,000 as a lump sum. Does my hon. Friend agree that this is an example of the pay-to-retain-me culture, and that the boards of housing associations should realise that they are handling public money?

If you will forgive me, Mr. Speaker, I will not get into the debate on pay for Back-Bench Members, but my hon. Friend makes the reasonable point that the boards of housing associations need to be responsible and show restraint. However, it is right for the boards to make such decisions. They are regulated by the Housing Corporation, which can intervene and has done so in cases of mismanagement. It is also important to remember that there are representatives of local residents on the boards. We should continue to keep the focus on those boards.

I am not sure whether the hon. Gentleman is interested in applying, but as I said, it is for the boards to decide. There are about 2,000 registered social landlords delivering 2 million homes to about 4 million residents. It is important to remember that what I read out to the House was just the salaries of the top five CEOs, and despite the fact that they are doing a good job, it would be unfair to focus on just the top five.