Network rail
Network Rail's executives have been told they should npt receive bonuses for a job that is "totally safe". (Reuters) Reuters

A member of Network Rail's governing body has said its bosses do not deserve bonuses to bring the company in line with the deputy prime ministers crackdown on top executive pay.

Sir David Higgins, NR's new chief executive, stopped bonuses for 2010 after it was revealed that executives were earning 60 percent on top of their salaries.

Lord Berkeley, a public member of the company, has now said that executives should "renounce bonuses" for 2011 as well after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called for a curb on top corporate pay, which he described as "abhorrent".

Lord Berkeley, who wrote his recommendations in a letter, said it was unjust that a company "that cannot effectively go into liquidation" could pay bonuses of up to £600,000.

He said executives can expect a greater degree of job security at NR, something the Remuneration Committee, which sets the bonuses, does not appear to have recognised in arguing that higher salaries and bonuses were necessary to attract the right calibre of people.

"Whilst having severe doubts that NR's performance will justify any bonuses for this year, there is also the question of public perception. The High Pay Commission has recently published a report warning that large pay deals were 'corrosive' to the economy," he added.

Mr Clegg, who was speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, said the government would focus on bringing the high bonus culture to an end as people everywhere were feeling the pinch of the economic crisis.