Moya Greene
Moya Greene, Royal Mail chief executive, was paid a package worth £1.5m in the 2012/13 financial year Reuters

Royal Mail's remuneration committee has shot down a touted pay and benefits rise for the firm's chief executive following the controversy-laden privatisation on her watch.

Moya Greene had a remuneration package worth around £1.5m in the 2012/13 financial year, up from £1.1m in the previous period. Of that, £498,000 was a salary and the rest was made up with pension contributions, bonus payments and benefits such as medical insurance.

However, the Canadian handed back a £120,000 payment by Royal Mail to fund her purchase of a house in the UK amid public uproar. Before tax, the payment was worth £250,000, so her repayment brought the final pay package down to around £1.25m.

The committee decided to offer no increase Greene's current package, despite Royal Mail chairman Donald Brydon saying publicly that he does not think she is paid enough and fears her going elsewhere.

Royal Mail claimed that the committee's deicison had taken into account the "views and wishes" of the chief executive.

A higher pay packet for Greene would have laid the ground for a fight between Royal Mail and the government, which is under pressure over accusations it bungled the sell-off by undervaluing the business.

Most of Royal Mail was floated onto the London Stock Exchange at an offer price of 330p per share during October 2013, with Greene at the helm, but the price rose sharply in the following months.

Critics of the government say Royal Mail was sold too cheaply after it took advice from three investment banks tasked with assisting the privatisation: Goldman Sachs, UBS and Lazard.

Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour party, claimed Prime Minister David Cameron had sold Royal Mail at "mate's rates" to his friends in the financial sector.

Vince Cable, UK business secretary, has defended the flotation because he believes the it was a success.

Cable argues that Royal Mail was correctly priced because it allowed all of the shares to be sold off.

The government could not risk a disappointing IPO because it is also planning to re-privatise the banks it bailed out during the financial crisis, Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

A National Audit Office (NAO) said the government's cautious pricing of Royal Mail may have cost taxpayers £750m in potential revenue from the sale.

It has also emerged that the investment arm of Lazard, one of the government's advisers, was given priority investor status ahead of the flotation, meaning it was one of a select few firms offered the first opportunity to buy Royal Mail shares.

Lazard then made £8m profit when it sold off Royal Mail shares after the price spiralled.

The government has retained a 30% stake in the firm and 10% was handed to employees.