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Herb Prooy: A decent salary

Sunday 18 March 2012

Herb Prooy wonders if Rutte thinks should be paid more. After all, a lot of less deserving private sector people are.

How far does a net monthly income of €6,000 go? Mark Rutte feels that disgraced former Vestia boss Erik Staal could have managed on what he as prime minister makes instead of the more than €15,000 Staal pocketed every month thanks to his PvdA cronies.

Mega salary

And that is not counting the pension of €3.5m he grabbed on his way out. For 95% of the Dutch population, €6,000 a month is a mega salary, an amount of money that the average Vestia client on €1,600 a month can only dream of.

The Balkenende norm has always sounded a bit vague. But there is nothing unclear about the €6,000 after taxes that Rutte is getting. And now that it’s out there, it begs the question whether the prime minister’s remuneration shouldn’t be more than five times the minimum wage or three times the average income.

Laughable

SP voters and some PvdA voters would answer the question with a resounding ‘no’ but the average VVD voter will probably think €6,000 is a laughable amount for the job.

Mark Rutte may never have had any media training but he must realise that blabbing about his income is sending out a message about salary norms that is much clearer than the Balkenende norm ever was.

The norm was meant to restrict salaries in the (semi) public sector but name one director or manager at any company who works harder than Mark Rutte and is responsible for a budget of €180bn a year and who has to defend the interests of seventeen million people .

No-risk €50m

Would Mark Rutte himself think he is earning enough? And how does he feel about the remuneration of the top men at Ziggo when it became a listed company? These are five men who have €50m to share between them for on average of four short years of work, all the while earning a monthly salary comparable to Erik Staal’s. And without any entrepreneurial risk attached.

Why is a net salary of €6,000 the absolute maximum for a (semi) civil servant and not nearly enough for a company wage slave?

Herb Prooy is an entrepreneur in the field of ‘software as a service’

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