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Call for action over executive pay

Executive pay has come under fresh attack as a new poll showed few people believed top bosses should earn more than £1 million a year.

A survey of over 2,000 adults by the High Pay Centre research group found that two-thirds wanted to rein in "crony capitalism" and almost as many did not believe that top pay rates were set in an open and transparent way.

Just 7% of those questioned supported £1 million salaries for chief executives of firms in the FTSE 100, while only 1% said senior bosses were worth the £4 million currently earned by those at the top end of business.

Two out of three people agreed there should be a worker representative on company remuneration committees, a move which the Government ruled out earlier this week in its announcement on tackling excessive pay.

Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre, said: "Top executive pay and the behaviour of business are issues at the heart of the current public debate about how we rebuild our economy.

"Our polling shows the public do not believe executives, even of the biggest companies, should be awarded multimillion-pound pay packages. It is time for boardrooms to wake up to what is fair and act now to rebuild public trust."

Ms Hargreaves said plans set out by the Government for more shareholder scrutiny and greater transparency over top pay did not go far enough, adding: "The public are squarely behind the case for reform. People want to see rewards based on fairness.

"Runaway executive pay has undermined the public's trust in business and we believe Parliament and the business community should take stronger action to curb it."

The report followed anger at the announcement of a near £1 million bonus for RBS boss Stephen Hester.


From Belfast Telegraph