Bank chief slams ‘Balkenende norm’ for pay

The ‘Balkenende norm’ for top salaries in the public sector is ridiculous, central bank president Nout Wellink was reported as saying at the weekend.

Under cabinet guidelines, people working in the public sector – including thoses leading for arms-length companies like Dutch Rail and Schiphol airport – should not earn more than the premier’s €171,000 a year.
‘The job of prime minister is the only function with no market and using it as the norm is idiotic,’ Wellink said. Pegging top civil servants pay to this amount makes it harder to find and keep good people, he said.
Wellink said he is not against the prime minister earning the highest salary, but the right pay for top civil servants should be decided first. ‘Then you can add to that for the prime minister and ministers,’ said Wellink.

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