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PM outlines plans for executive pay

A binding vote for shareholders on executive salaries will be part of a Government blitz on "crony capitalism" and spiralling pay and bonuses, David Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister said he had backed the move as part of a package of measures due to be unveiled by Business Secretary Vince Cable within the next six weeks.

Legislation was likely to be included in the Queen's Speech this spring, he indicated, to deal with what amounted to a "market failure" of fast-rising pay despite the economic downturn.

But he questioned the value of measures demanded by Labour such as putting workers on pay boards - saying he wanted to avoid "tokenism".

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said the ideas proposed by the Prime Minister "fall far short of what is needed to end rewards for failure".

The Prime Minister said he knew that executives picking up huge cheques even when their companies had failed made "people's blood boil".

"What I think is wrong is pay going up and up and up when it is not commensurate with the success companies are having," he told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.

"Some people are worth £2 million because they have added masses of jobs, masses of investment, masses of growth. But excessive growth of payment, unrelated to success, frankly ripping off the shareholder and the customer ... is crony capitalism and is wrong."

Confirming one element of the package, he said: "The absolute key, and I can confirm this today, that does need to happen and will happen is clear transparency in terms of the publication in terms of proper pay numbers to really see what people are being paid and then binding shareholder votes so the owners of the company vote on the pay levels and - absolutely key - votes on parts about dismissal packages and payments for failure."

He told the Sunday Telegraph this would help end the "merry-go-round" of super-rich bosses rubber-stamping each others' inflated deals.


From Belfast Telegraph