UK Prime Minister David Cameron rejected a Labor Party proposal that an ordinary employee sit on a company board compensation committee, noting that having an employee on the committee would break an important principle of not having people on a remuneration committee who will have their own pay determined. Since when are boards setting the pay of ordinary employees?
The Prime Minister also endorsed performance-based pay.
Thanks to Jim Hamilton’s World of Securities Regulation for bringing the exchange in the House of Commons to our attention. Here’s the exchange:
Edward Miliband: Let me ask the Prime Minister Interruption. Let me ask him about another simple proposal. He had no answer on transparency. Does he agree with me that to bring a dose of realism to the decisions about top pay there should be an ordinary employee on every pay committee, so that people on a huge salary have to look at least one of their employees in the eye and justify it?
The Prime Minister: I have looked very carefully at the right hon. Gentleman’s propositions and I do not think it is practical to do what he is suggesting. It breaks an important principle of not having people on a remuneration committee who will have their own pay determined, so I do not think that it is the right way forward. The House might be interested to know, as I have looked carefully at all his proposals, that he also proposed in Glasgow to ban performance-related pay in all but the most exceptional circumstances. That is completely wrong. There are people working in offices, factories and shops around the country who want performance-related pay and who, if they meet some targets, would like to have a bonus at the end of the year. That is pro-aspiration and pro-doing the right thing for your family. That shows that the right hon. Gentleman has not a clue about how to run an economy.
At least they are talking about creative ideas to bring down excessive CEO pay in the UK. Creativity on this side of the pond seems lacking, except in the USPX say on pay voting guidelines.