Top salaries not our business: minister

The government should not be interfering in top salaries says social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner. He made the remark during a lecture on Sunday night, saying that the government’s involvement in private sector pay limits companies’ freedom.

Last week finance minister Wouter Bos called for a ceiling on top salaries in the private sector and threatened to ‘take measures’ if supervisory boards did not act to fix a ceiling on bosses’ pay.
In today’s Trouw, Donner says: ‘It [the government] is not there to create a paradise and force the lion to lie down with the lamb’.
He went on to say that the government’s role is to negotiate between the lion and lamb, referring to the current deadlock between unions and employers in the negotiations to reform redundancy laws.
Meanwhile support for Donner’s redundancy law reform is waning. Trouw reports that the Metal Union, one of the largest members of the association of small and medium companies (MKB), wants the redundancy law to remain as it is. The metal sector is currently running a campaign to deal with the shortage of 6,000 technical workers.
‘If Donner’s reforms go through, redundancy payments will be two and a half times annual salary,’ Metal Union chairman Michaël van Straalen told Trouw. ‘That’s too much for small and medium sized firms which have not been functioning well for some time,’ he said.

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