Monday, 4 January 2010

Not the baggy green!

Not the baggy green cap, but the cap on executive salaries is doing the rounds again. (see here)
There is no heart in the political and/or economic community for such a thing.
There is a lot of envy!!
This in itself may be the reason why there is no heart. People always hope that they themselves ultimately might be the recipients of the obscene largesse that many of our captains of industry receive.
A more serious problem, it seems to me, is not paying executives what they have agreed to, but the definition of such things as 'productivity bonuses'. When, as for example throughout the noughties, productivity appeared to be defined as shrinking the wages bill as much as possible.
So that executives who were able to ruthlessly implement massive staff cuts, and cover up the diminishing service delivery with spin, looked as though they had been productive; when all they had been was heartless.
Perhaps if there is to be regulation then productivity needs to have some more positive performance indicators than ruthlessness.
I have also been interested in the last few days to read about the "expense allowances" of British MPs. This scandal seemed to catch up almost all of thge 600+ members of the House of Commons. We should not forget that 'salary packaging' is also a way many of our top execs are able to minimise tax and maximise benefits.
Perhaps regulation should scrutinise more carefully some of this.
I am not optimistic about any of this. As a parishioner yesterday bemoaned to me that many execs he worked for got the bonuses for works that he and others actually implemented, I also pointed out to him that he was not the one who used the shovel to build the stuff which he managed, which the execs then got bonuses for. He didn't seem to understand. And there seemed little point pursuing it.
We don't get it! Or we don't want to get it!

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