The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) has labelled bonus payments worth more than £2m to senior post office managers as “morally reprehensible”.

According to a Freedom of Information request by the NFSP, it was revealed that Post Office Ltd (POL) bosses earning more than £80,000 chose to pay themselves a bonus pot of £2m in 2012.

Overall, bonuses worth £15.4m were paid out to POL staff with those earning between £30,000 and £80,000 sharing £7.2m, and those earning less than £30,000 sharing £6.2m.

NFSP general secretary George Thomson slammed the POL for awarding themselves the bonuses. “To pay senior POL staff such huge bonuses at a time when subpostmasters are struggling to keep their post offices open and POL itself requires massive government subsidies is morally reprehensible,” he said.

The revelation comes as relationships between subpostmasters and the Post Office hit an all-time low.

In May of this year, members of the NFSP launched the first industrial action in the organisation’s 116-year history over the decision by POL to unilaterally scrap a £2.2m payment to subpostmasters for separating different categories of mail. Meanwhile, a recent survey revealed that only 17% of subpostmasters could see a strong future for their business and 51% had seen their Post Office income decrease over the past year.

“A quarter of our members are taking no income at all from their Post Office, and can only stay open and continue serving their customers through the subpostmaster using their pension or savings, or income from their retail business,” added Thomson. “For them to learn that POL staff took bonuses worth more than £15m using public money is an unacceptable kick in the teeth.”

A Post Office spokeswoman said: “Like many companies, the Post Office has various incentive schemes in place to help us reward and recognise our people at all levels across the organisation.”