David Cameron last night appeared to back the recommendations of an independent commission calling for a crackdown on excessive corporate salaries.
The High Pay Commission, which reported yesterday, suggested putting employees on remuneration committees, publishing the top 10 executive pay packages and forcing companies to reveal the pay ratio between the highest paid executive and the company median. Responding to the report, the Prime Minister's spokesman said its conclusions were broadly in line with proposals currently being considered by ministers.
"If you look at the High Pay Commission report, a lot of what they are saying is in line with what was in the consultation that we have put out," he said.
"When lots of people are finding times tough, they look at people at the top of society and think it is unacceptable that they are getting very large pay increases, so we are looking at this issue very carefully and consulting on a number of reforms, and the Business Secretary will have more to say in the New Year." The report comes as a poll, conducted by ComRes for ITV News at Ten, found that a majority of people believe that the Government is more concerned with protecting the banks than the British public.
Nearly three quarters of the public believe that having big pay inequalities is bad for social stability within Britain and two thirds think that it is immoral for people running large companies to be paid millions of pounds.
TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "Top directors seem to think that austerity is just for the little people. This is not just unfair, but bad for the economy as this vital report makes clear.
"Many of the High Pay Commission report's recommendations can and should be implemented straight away.
"The truth is that the extraordinary transfer of wealth from ordinary people to those at the top is not just morally repulsive, but a key ingredient in the economic crash."