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Vince Cable, in what I’m sure will be semi-orgiastic frenzy for the Lib Dem conference, wants to reveal the pay of company bosses to its workers, instilling what he so valiantly calls “responsible capitalism.”
Which I think is a great idea. I mean, why stop there? Why not have public pay lists for every member of a company? That’ll be good for business.
As I ranted last week about our Justice Secretary who doesn’t like justice, it is hard to be surprised by the greatest irony of our coalition – our anti-business, Business Secretary – but Vince really does try.
Why on earth should a private sector business reveal its directors’ salary, pensions, share schemes and bonuses? There is public interest when the taxpayer is responsible for their pay but in the private sector there is no need to know this. The market dictates the value of its employees. What will this possibly achieve? We know that directors earn a lot of money, so they should. Infuriating Bob in accounts on £25k, by letting him know his boss takes home £2.5m, isn’t going to achieve anything.
Still it might be worth a watch just so you can see the grimace on his face as he admits, “People accept capitalism…,” even with his ‘responsible’ caveat that must be hard for our Business Secretary to stomach.
And as John Redwood points out…
It is a strange paradox. Mr Cable dislikes high private sector executive pay, and wishes to get shareholders to curb it. Yet Mr Cable is one of a select few who decides the pay of RBS executives, a loss making state owned bank. He does nothing to curb that.