It’s a recurrent BBC meme – “executives” are getting paid far too much and something must be done about it. (Cue Red Flag playing gently in background, comrades) True to form is this report which leads BBC news today…

David Cameron has promised shareholders a binding vote on executive pay, in an effort to deal with excessive salaries. The prime minister told the BBC there had been a “market failure”, with some bosses getting huge rises despite firms not improving their performances. He also pledged to tackle large payouts for executives dismissed because of poor performance.

The BBC then goes on to use the IPPR and the High Pay Commission as authoritative sources for demanding that “something” be done. Both these bodies are virulently left wing, as you can see here and here.    
I’ll be on the BBC tomorrow (Nolan Show) to discuss this issue but my summary position is as follows;
1. I object to the State interfering in private business. It is none of the business of Government to instruct companies how much they should pay.
2. I also object to crony Capitalism, the enemy of the free market. But the sins of a few FTSE Top 100 financial companies are being manipulated by some to curtail private enterprise.
3. With State Sector workers earning more than those in the Private sector that funds them, I’m surprised the Prime Minister is not looking to curtail the excesses of that sector. For example, is a BBC presenter worth a salary package worth hundreds of time more than the man or woman who makes the tea in the BBC canteen?
4. Not all FTSE companies reward failure. Indeed if they did they would not remain top 100. I wanted to see large Banks that made poor decisions FAIL, but it was a left wing Labour Government which bailed them out. Now this is used as a form of moral blackmail over every other business in the UK and that too is wrong.
5. Is David Cameron going to pick up the bill for re-writing every employment contract in the UK so that severance terms are to his satisfaction? 
Any other thoughts you want to share on this topic?
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37 Responses to EXECUTIVE PAY

  1. Big Harry says:

    But on BBC executives pay – the plebs should just shut the hell up, tis none of their business and if they make a fuss – its off to the gulag for you – tarred with the R word for that is what they are.


  2. As I See It says:

    Your point number 3 concerning BBC executive pay is a good one.

    The Beeb are also unwilling to agonise over the excessive amounts doled out to what they term the ‘talent’.

    One rule for the boardroom another for the luvvies?


    • cjhartnett says:

      Surely Bill Nighy and his ilk would happily “contribute” to the Sates bare coffers with an imposed “voluntary luvvie tax”.
      And every time they held forth on the topic of St Pauls, Dale farm etc-their “contribution” would double..for all that hot air and smug self righteousness may yet impinge on Michael O` Learys plans to further let me visit lots of nice countries as cheaply as possible.
      Bono and Sting could set the ball rolling with the sale of their British gastropads-all money to that nice, and rather pinched looking, Mr Osborne.


  3. Jeremy Clarke says:

    I think it is also worth pointing out that the ‘problem’ of ‘excessive’ pay is not limited to the private sector.

    Chief executives of District, County and Metropolitan councils are very handsomely remunerated these days. Richard North has myriad examples of what he, in true Randian style, calls ‘looters’.

    And don’t forget the mention the Dame Suzi Leathers of this world; the quangocrats who have been systematically fleecing the tax-payer for decades.

    We Britons are rather obsessed with what other people earn, aren’t we?


  4. Millie Tant says:

    I agree that the government should tackle the inflated salaries of all those public sector fat cats and in general keep out of private sector pay.
    Unfortunately though, governments didn’t keep out of companies’ business but did spend a lot of our money to put us in debt when those companies failed to manage their own affairs but didn’t have to take the consequences. They must be laughing all the way to the er…bank. Our bank – or is it? We are not seeing any benefit. That’s why I think people feel angry.

    Although there is plenty of scope for greed and excess, payments are not a “reward for failure” in a lot of cases anyway but contractual obligations mean companies having to pay large sums to get rid of failures. It’s either do that or get involved in expensive litigation which is a sure way of throwing probably even more money away. It’s a downside of the system and we have been seeing the worst of it recently so maybe they should consider in future how contracts are set up in the first place.


  5. Phil says:

    BBC shareholders – all licence fee payers, should be allowed a binding vote on the level of executive pay at the BBC.

    The bureaucratic BBC would then find out that most of the thousands of staff with ‘manager’ in their job title would be voted a salary of absolutely nothing and booted off the payroll. 


  6. ltwf1964 says:

    the bBC are always obsessing with MLA salaries here in NI-especially Fatty Nolan who is always asking questions  
    but ask him and his ilk how much they get paid and it’s a swift “none of your business”  

    well,maybe not mine personally as I refuse to pay the tv tax,but I’m sure those that still do feel the need to prop up a leftist agitprop media machine to the tune of almost £150 a year would like to know perhaps……  


  7. Martin says:

    Yes, there should be a maximum pay at the BBC, 100K, I also think that Marr should have been challenged as all beeboids should are they willing to be a trial for tax payers to have a say in beeboid pay?

    TV shows that earn money for the BBC (like Dr Who or Top Gear) should get a bonus but also some of the profits from these shows should be given back to the licence fee payer as ‘dividends’, what makes the BBC think they are entitled to keep all the profits from shows we pay to make in the first place?

    I suspect not, the BBC will throw out the usual ‘commercial pressure’ crap.


  8. cjhartnett says:

    Why are BBC “talent” salaries “commercially confidential” when WE are the shareholders?
    How do we clip Caroline Thomsons salary-is there a forum to get her pay docked with pensions being held back until they better represent this nation?
    Who gave Patten his job-and what qualified him for it apart from being th classic lily hopping Corinthian/gentleman player who sups with the right type at the Garrick?
    Is Will Huttons idea of maximum salaries being a fixed ratio of the poorest ones going to be a “runner” at the BBC-after all, they seemed awful fond of it when it comes to the private sector.
    The private sector is none of our business-but the public sector BBC certainly IS.
    Any chance of the Beeb introducing its own Tobin Tax for itself-and to give money forfeited to support the poor lambs now subject to Toricutz…you know, a bit of “welf distribution” a la Robin Hood?
    It is the panto season after all.

    Any chance of the BBC not sending all its gofers and bigwigs over to the USA for the traditional Christmas shop-sorry, Obamas coronation!
    Doesn`t America have a few journalists handy in front of a camera?

    And finally-how much would Stafano Nolanovski cost us were we to emply him fresh from Latvian Hospital radio…keen, young and committed to excellence.
    And why DON`T we mange to get him, instead we are left with the usual tired bed blockers-hideously white, male and not allowing us our diversity and chance to celebrate the European Open Market?

    Looking forward to it all!


    • ltwf1964 says:

      but we’re not shareholders

      we’re cash cows there to be milked dry and force fed leftist/greenie fascist/anti israel propaganda at every opportunity


    • Millie Tant says:

      From memory, Caroline Thompson’s salary is something like half that of DG Thompson who gets around £660 000 p.a. That’s a staggering amount for what is a public service job. And for what? What does that man do other than play politics? Caroline Thomson seems to do everything, including whatever the useless Deputy DG Byford used to do for a lot more money.


  9. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Any other professions for which the government should be able to dictate salary limits and rules, based on a reaction to mob rule? Footballers? Stars of films that do poorly at the box office? NHS managers? BBC Directors? Shadow Cabinet Ministers? Public sector union pilgrims? Bus drivers?

    Bankers just need to unionize. That would end this disucssion very quickly.


  10. London Calling says:

    The Private Sector, unlike the Public Sector, has the right to be wrong. It can go into the wrong business at the wrong time, with the wrong products at the wrong price, and pay all its staff the wrong salaries. The market punishes through failure (unless stupid government with our money steps in of course). That is what makes it the Private Sector. Government should look to their own business: law and order, managing our borders, sound money, you know, the things they are utterly incompetent at doing. Yes you, Cameron.


  11. Sceptical Steve says:

    According to its own website, the “independent” High Pay Commission no longer exists. It was established for a fixed term of 12 months, which ended in 2011.

    If I were to play the game of “follow the money”, I’d be inclined to find out who’s financing the spokes-people who’ve been giving the quotes to the BBC. Either they are ex-employees of the HPC, and therefore hold no mandate to speak on its behalf, or this is yet another quango that will need a silver bullet and a stake through the heart before it can be killed off!


  12. Frederick Bloggs says:

    As a “stakeholder” in the BBC I would like a vote on Nolan’s salary.


    • ltwf1964 says:

      well it’s obviously WAY too much because as he admitted himself,he put on 5 stone in 6 weeks

      if he was forced to live on the average man or woman’s wage,he wouldn’t have such a fat waistline

      but it’s all to easy to indulge when you’re being bankrolled by joe public


      • hippiepooter says:

        Could the average man or woman do Nolan’s job? Whatever one may or not say about how much he is or isn’t biased, I’d say he’s a very capable broadcaster who deserves a high salary.

        Frankly, showbiz should act like a free market just like banking, the market sets the rate, but when banks fail and have to be bailed out, if HMG was properly guarding the public purse under Brown they wouldn’t have been allowed to continue with giving themselves bonuses when their performances only justified pay cuts.

        Football might be a good case for going back to the maximum wage (and a cap on foreign players), an unregulated market just creates a vortex which sucks everyone under in the end in some markets.


        • hippiepooter says:

          And as for his weight one has never been a fan of ad hominem.


          • ltwf1964 says:

            have to pull you up on this one i’m afraid

            he may not do this on 5 dead,but on radio Ulster he takes great pleasure in telling the listener how much weight he has piled on,how quickly it took him to do it,and a blow by blow account of what he stuffed down his gullet to achieve the desired result

            so ad hominem?……’fraid not


            • My Site (click to edit) says:

              Whilst also applauding the polite reply in response as a matter of course, one also has to be a fan of using facts over trading subjective opinions.

              If Mr. Nolan has made his weight gain methodology a public issue, it is open season.


            • hippiepooter says:

              “if he was forced to live on the average man or woman’s wage,he wouldn’t have such a fat waistline “


  13. hippiepooter says:

    Without question the finance sector giving executives bonuses when they’d been bailed out by the taxpayer was an obscenity, and given the stake the public had/have in those ‘too big to fail’ banks how did the Brown Govt let them get away with it? 

    However, like you’ve mentioned, what about the astronomical pay BBC executives and stars get? And why footballers aren’t brought up in this debate is a complete mystery.

    As Evan Davis put into Chuka Umnah’s mouth in the Labour policy promo he conducted with him on TODAY the other day, “So your central analysis, not that of everyone else’s, was really a kind of collapse in the values of responsibility and restraint that might of permeated the well to do in the 50’s and 60’s, that that drifted away, they could get away with paying themselves more because more or less they could get away with setting their own pay”.

    Well, this is it. What is the key factor that has eroded the moral ethos that ensured honourable banking conduct? Surely the BBC? Depending how things go with Mr Nolan tomorrow you might like to bring this up. Extremely rich the likes of Evans using essentially Tory values of yesteryear to buttress a policy promo he was running for Chuka.


    • hippiepooter says:

      Evan Davis’ cant on behalf of Chuka 2 mins in.


    • The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

      Footballers are in a market where the best get paid the highest wages.  There is a lot  public interest in football and therefore a lot of money so the best get paid far more than the best professional bowls players where there is no lucrative market.

      That’s a reasonable principle in any occupation and basic economics.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Why footballers are paid well is not the point. If a highly-paid footballer performs poorly, should the Government be able to decide a salary reduction? If the Government should stay out because footballers aren’t public employees, what about NHS managers or BBC managers or bus drivers or MPs or teachers or Chief Inspectors or magistrates? If a metric is applied to a quasi-public employee, why can’t it be employed to actual ones?


  14. The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

    On Front Row before Christmas they had some old duffer from the arts world banging on about a museum he had just opened with £50m of his own cash.  The interview was the usual elitist bullshit and then out of the blue the interviewer asked whether chummy thought the bankers were overpaid.  WTF that had to do with him God knows but he dutifully piped up that it was a jolly bad show.

    But wait. Assuming this chap was 80 and was still earning then he has had 60 years to amass a fortune of over £50M (assuming he he still has a pot to piss in).  That’s a clear private profit in savings of £833K a year minimum.  That’s close enough to a net income of over £1M a year to wonder just why he thought what he did was any worse than a banker. 

    BTW I think it was Terence Conran – so he made over priced, hideous, wonky furniture.


  15. Nick says:

    1. Will the BBC curtail their pay? Do we get a vote in the hundreds of thousands paid to those at the top?

    2. Will MPs subject themselves to a vote by their constitiuents on their pay?

    3. Crony capitalism. Notice that there is one common factor. The government. 

    From banks demanding a bailout to Greens demanding the government robs the poor to pay them for their schemes, the government is at the middle. 

    Here’s the test. If I demand 20,000 pounds from you, who is the idiot if you pay up? 


  16. james1070 says:

    Here is an ideas for executive wages for the BBC. Why not pay the Director General and all his other cronies the minimum wage. Because surely it is a privilege to work for the BBC. Let the BBC set the example, Cuban style.  Let Paxman take the same wage as a shelf stacker at a supermarket. Because a shelf stackers role is more important, without them we would get no food.


  17. ian says:

    It’s the rich wot gets the pleasure all right. Forced to make staffing cuts because the government wouldn’t  let them increase the license fee by another £100 billion, the beeb’s corporate fat-cats have been sacking junior staff, leaving the bloated, Guardian-sized managementocracy intact. They were especially savage in getting rid of foreigners – er I mean foreign nationals – working in their own countries on contract under British handlers (a bit like MI6’s Cambridge elite selling out their Soviet informants whenever it suited them). I suppose they’re just wogs to the hideous white hypocrites at the top. Funny, MI6’s Cambridge nancies were antisemitic communists too…..


  18. grangebank says:

    I thought after Detoilets report that the BBC said that for  every £1 taken from Joe public gave £2 back ?


  19. LJ says:

    The coalition promised to deal with executive pay in the public sector, and that is their duty. NHS trust and local council leaders earning 250k plus are not the exception. That is where Brave Dave should focus, because he can make a difference and do something.
    It is much easier to talk about private sector pay than to do something about public sector pay, in this he is true to form, talking about something he would like to do outside of his remit, instead of doing something within his area of reach but is too scared.

    PS How often have we heard about public sector figures being paid off massive amounts to leave when fired ‘because it is in their contract’ etc.? So the PM has shown himself to be incapable of action in these cases, where public money is involved and people have violated guidelines, why would it be different in the private sector?


  20. Umbongo says:

    On Today this morning, Stuart Fraser, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, made mincemeat of both Humphrys and serial parasite Deborah Hargreaves, chair of High Pay Commission concerning executive pay.  However, although he pointed out that the CEOs etc of the FTSE 100 were in an international market (and paid accordingly) he omitted to mention that many (most?) of the FTSE 100 companies are not even UK companies: they are just quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

    Coming to the purpose of this website, another factoid omitted from the broadcast was that Debbie was business editor at the Guardian and financial editor (and a couple of other “editorships” at the FT (the Guardian printed on pink paper).  On its website http://highpaycommission.co.uk/about/ , the HPC states how “independent” it is by informing us that “The High Pay Commission is an independent inquiry into high pay and boardroom pay across the public and private sectors in the UK. The Commission was established by Compass [a left-wing pressure group] with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust [another left-wing outfit].”.  So, fully up to the not-so-high “standards” of BBC journalism, Humphrys forgot to tell us that this “commission” is a private left-wing lobbying organisation financed by lefty interests with, as it happens, a couple of City dildos invited on board for a bit of window-dressing.  Once again, BBC journalistic incompetence and bias in one go.


    • John Anderson says:

      The BBC keeps quoting the figure of 44% for executive pay rises last year, derived I think from Income Data Services.

      But they KNOW that the IDS report made it clear that a huge part of that was with overseas companies who happen to be quoted in London (probably as well as elsewhere).  As the £ suffered serious devaluation under Brown,  the global figure should be amended.  More to the point, the focus should be on UK-based companies.


      • Umbongo says:

        The BBC knows a lot of facts which are inconvenient in respect of the Narrative.  However, as the unbiased, impartial conveyor of news and information that the BBC is, it decides not to broadcast such facts since their widespread dissemination would only serve to confuse or even frighten its listeners.  Such reticence does not, of course, apply to the transmission of panic-inducing “public service” announcements involving, for instance, CAGW, alcohol, or smoking which have been approved by and stamped with the imprimatur of the Praesidium.


  21. Umbongo says:

    Later on Today gave Vanessa Redgrave 5 minutes to spout her lefty bile on the threadbare excuse that she has something interesting – or even new – to say “ahead of her appearance in a film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus”.   Why was this film given free publicity?  Why was Redgrave given access to the airwaves on an influential BBC programme with not one challenge to her lefty fascism?  I agree with her on the general point that politicians are rubbish but, then, so are intellectual children like Redgrave when they dabble in extremist politics.  Did we hear any balancing points?  Of course not: this is the BBC and this was someone fully in tune with the Narrative.


  22. My Site (click to edit) says:

    Stakeholders having a say in what they have to stump up for no matter what, vs. a clique of market rates with a vested interest in keeping their respective packages high?

    It may just work. 

    Though, one presumes, there will be unique exceptions, as always?

    I await the BBC’s finest ‘analysing’ that.


  23. Millie Tant says:

    Has the Beeboid Corporation ditched the word cuts for a new favourite: austerity?

    I just listened on iPlayer to the Start the Week programme which was about Austerity. Then I tuned in to the second half of The Daily Politics and there the theme was Austerity. It was even written on a corner of the screen in case I should miss what the intended theme was.

    On Start the Week there was an interesting first half in which a journalist from The Irish Times,  Fintan O’Toole, spoke eloquently (from about 1 min 20 in to 10 mins) about the state of the Irish economy, the debt to bad banks, the fifth austerity budget that they have just had, the growing debt, the loss of autonomy and control of their affairs, the anger and helplessness people feel and the exodus of young people to Australia, Canada and England. This was followed by another 10 mins of discussion among the panel. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0194dj7/Start_the_Week_Austerity_Antony_Gormley_David_Kynaston_and_Anna_Coote/