MPs back extra tax on golden handshakes

MPs have backed plans to put an extra tax on companies which pay excessive golden handshakes and pension contributions to departing executives.

The measure, drawn up by finance minister Wouter Bos, is aimed at appeasing growing disquiet over top people’s pay.
The three coalition partners and left-wing opposition parties backed the bill, although but the latter said it does not go far enough, news agency ANP reports.
Right-wing opposition parties warned companies would find it easy to get round the new taxes.
If the bill becomes law, companies handing out a golden handshake of over €500,000 will have to pay 30% tax on the amount. Higher pension contributions will be subject to a 15% rate.
Public sector
MPs also gave their support to a ceiling on top pay in the semi-public sector, such as hospitals and housing corporations. Salaries should be pegged to that of the prime minister – €171,000 a year – MPs agreed.
Dozens of housing corporation and health service bosses are known to earn more than the PM and earlier this month, the health service association recommended a higher top pay rate for areas where competition has been introduced.

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