GACC denounces the “obscene” bonus of up to £5 million for Wingate if he gets the 2nd runway
GACC is appalled to read the Sunday Times report that Gatwick boss, Stewart Wingate, is in line to receive a bonus of up to £5 million. Brendon Sewill chairman of GACC commented: “If Gatwick gets a new runway, he walks off with an obscene bonus while hundreds of thousands of people will suffer more noise; 50,000 will suffer worse pollution; thousands of motorists will be stuck in traffic jams; thousands of rail passengers will have to stand; Sussex countryside will be diminished by a new town the size of Crawley; 17 historic buildings will be demolished; and worse climate change damage will cause misery across the world.” All that misery and Wingate swans off with his bonus – but with the curses of thousands ringing in his ears. GACC is also fascinated to learn that Gatwick has spent almost £40 million on its runway publicity campaign, on advertising, planning for the 2nd runway and undermining its rivals. Brendon Sewill says: “An American company has been using American style advertising and lobbying tactics But all the evidence is that British Cabinet Ministers, British MPs and British civil servants are not easily bought. We have a proud tradition that Government decisions need to be taken on a rational analysis of the evidence. So all those expensive lunches may actually prove counterproductive.”
Gatwick boss obscene bonus denounced
11.9..2016 (GACC – Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign – press release
GACC is appalled to read that Gatwick boss, Stewart Wingate, is in line to receive a bonus of £5 million. [Sunday Times story today]
If Gatwick gets a new runway, he walks off with an obscene bonus while – according to Brendon Sewill chairman of GACC – hundreds of thousands of people will suffer more noise; [According to the Airports Commission a new Gatwick runway would mean a threefold increase in the number of people affected by serious noise (compared to no increase if at Heathrow). AC Consultation November 2014. P 44]
50,000 will suffer worse pollution; [ Airports Commission Air Quality consultation May 2015. P 44 ] thousands of motorists will be stuck in traffic jams; [No improvements are planned for the M25 as part of the Gatwick runway plan.] thousands of rail passengers will have to stand; [Research study: Rail Infrastructure. http://www.gacc.org.uk/research-studies.php] Sussex countryside will be diminished by a new town the size of Crawley;[West Sussex County Council] 17 historic buildings will be demolished; [GACC report 2016] and worse climate change damage will cause misery across the world.’All that misery and Wingate swans off with his bonus – but with the curses of thousands ringing in his ears.
GACC is also fascinated to learn that Gatwick Airport Ltd has spent £40 million on its runway publicity campaign. [Sunday Times story today] states: “Wingate has spent almost £40m on advertising, planning for the second runway and undermining its rivals.”
Brendon Sewill says: ‘An American company has been using American style advertising and lobbying tactics. Spraying champagne round as from a fire engine! But all the evidence is that British Cabinet Ministers, British MPs and British civil servants are not easily bought. We have a proud tradition that Government decisions need to be taken on a rational analysis of the evidence. So all those expensive lunches may actually prove counterproductive.’
Wingate again “prepared to give assurances” (ie. but not yet) on GIP not selling Gatwick soon
The Times – which actively supports a Gatwick runway – has a feature on Stewart Wingate. This repeats (uncritically) Gatwick’s claim that it can build a 2nd runway without public subsidy. The reality is that at least £12 billion of public money would be needed to upgrade surface access, which struggles now, let along with 35 million more passengers. The Times repeats Wingate’s claims (very dubious) that the runway can be added while capping airport charges. He blames “Treasury orthodoxy” by the Airports Commission, stemming from George Osborne, which favoured Heathrow “from the very beginning” for not backing Gatwick. Wingate admits he has spent almost £40 million on advertising, planning for the 2nd runway and trying to undermine Heathrow. If Gatwick got a 2nd runway, he would personally get up to £5 million for a sale of the airport (there would be a total of £10million for senior managers, and he gets half of that). Mind you, he has a “£475,000 salary plus up to 100% bonus.” GIP only paid £1.5 million for Gatwick, but gave big dividends, of £48m in 2015 and £133m in 2014. Wingate says GIP is “prepared to give the government reassurances that it would not sell out immediately should it get the green light for a second runway.” ie. no assurances yet. And “The shareholders are very much open to having a discussion on structures that satisfy the government.”
Top Gatwick bosses stand to make personal fortunes if airport price raised by 2nd runway
The Sunday Times has found that several of Gatwick’s senior bosses are signed up to a bonus scheme that should pay out handsomely if the airport is sold. In small print in Gatwick’s 2011 accounts the bonuses of “certain members” of its board are directly linked to the amount GIP gets from sale of the airport. It has long been suspected that Stewart Wingate, Nick Dunn (and others?) would stand to gain significantly, themselves, if they could raise the value of the airport by getting a 2nd runway. Now the disclosure has proved it. The cap on how much they could make is not revealed. Gatwick lent the executives £2.8m to buy into the share scheme, with the interest-free loans repayable once they sell their shares. GIP owns 42% of the airport, with much of the rest held by investors from Abu Dhabi, California, Korea and Australia. Gatwick have been doing all they can to block a Heathrow runway, to get their own. They are also doing all they can to increase the maximum number of flights per hour through flight path changes – again to raise the airport’s price. GIP bought Gatwick for £1.5 billion in 2009, and has just sold London City airport for almost x3 what they paid for it – and almost x32 its annual underlying profits.
Anger at revelation that Gatwick bosses to personally profit (millions of £s) if 2nd runway allowed
The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC) has expressed anger at the revelation in the Sunday Times that Gatwick bosses are set to benefit personally by several million pounds if permission is given for a 2nd runway. GACC says a 2nd runway would bring misery to tens of thousands of people. There would be three times as many people affected by serious amounts of aircraft noise, and new flight paths over peaceful areas. About 50,000 people would suffer from worse air quality. A new runway would mean traffic jams on motorways and local roads, overcrowding on the trains and an influx of new workers with a need to build 40,000 new houses on green fields. But with all these negative impacts on ordinary people, Gatwick bosses would walk away with huge bonuses. GACC chairman, Brendon Sewill, commented: “Until now Gatwick Airport Ltd have tried to persuade the public that a 2nd runway would be in the national interest. Now the cat is out of the bag! There is no real need for a new runway at Gatwick.” GACC will be investigating how far these new bonus payments will be subject to the normal full 45% rate of income tax. Despite making large profits, Gatwick Airport has paid no corporation tax since being bought by GIP due to tax fiddles similar to those operated by Starbucks or Google.