Bosses overseeing the HS2 project would have to be paid more than the Prime Minister, according to its chairman.
Speaking on BBC Newsnight Sir David Higgins, the new chairman of HS2 Ltd said that 20 or 30 senior people to be paid more than David Cameron would be needed within the next six months.
He said: “The worst money you can save is skimping on paying the best people.”
Sir David also claimed that HS2 would help to distribute wealth throughout the nation, despite claims by some economists that it is likely to suck more money towards London.
Earlier this year 16 contracts were signed to the value of £101million, and Sir David’s comments have angered anti-HS2 campaigners even further.
Joe Rukin, of the Stop HS2 campaign group, said: “Last year, David Higgins was given a brief of bringing the costs of HS2 down, but when he delivered his HS2 Plus report, he hadn’t saved a single penny.
“Taxpayers have been bemused so far with the number of exorbitant salaries paid by HS2 Ltd to people who like him, have proved to be totally incompetent after being given a remit and completely failing to achieve it.
“When he was appointed, David Higgins was told to bring costs down, but now he won’t even say he will stop costs going up.
“The reason for that is simple, because he has no interest in keeping costs down, he wants to stick with the clearly stated principle of HS2, that those in charge can run their own gravy train.”