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Labour’s Chuka Umuna forced the Business secretary Vincent Cable to turn up to parliament today to tell MPs what the coalition government were doing on trying to curb fat cat director pay.
The Gladiatorial rising star of the opposition said that it was essential that Cable’s words were preceded with actions when it came to government trying to regulate fat cat pay.
However, Vince Cable’s speech was overloaded with maybes. Rather like a dinner menu to a new restaurant that wasn’t opening for a while.
He admitted there was not a lot that government could do except make those top companies “think” about how much they pay their top bods.
Cable said: “I don’t expect them to be terrified by what we have laid out today, but I do expect them to think a bit more about it.”
The topic of fat cat pay has been a hot topic for MPs – gloating that they are now leading the way in trying to curb directors taking home mega bucks while staff languish and lose their jobs.
They have also been brawling over which party can be tougher on corporate capitalism – and how to best regulate the beast of the City.
Cable slammed the rewards for failure culture and couldn’t help but slam the last Labour government for letting fat cat director pay rocket to more than 100 times the average salary of a normal staff salary.
The Business secretary hoped that there would be all party consensus on pay and praised the leaders of all three parties in working together on the issue.
He told MPs that he was in favour of employees having more say in the companies they work for, and said that he thought the John Lewis scheme where employees hold shares was a good idea, but wasn’t workable for every company.
Ironically, MPs have also been debating food poverty today. From one extreme to another. While MPs are hungry to lecture on mega bucks in the City, and to pontificate about how it’s a struggle for an ordinary working family to afford a tin of Beans, (the Labour side blaming austerity), perhaps a mandatory scheme of food vouchers for those seriously in need of a meal would be better than just cash or benefits, where some people on the poverty line don’t help themselves by spending money on booze, fags, drugs, or whatever other vice is on offer in this civilised society.
Food for thought?
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