Vince Cable to water down curbs on executive pay


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The Independent Online

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, plans to water down his hardest hitting measure to curb excessive executive pay.

Chief executives are likely to be spared an annual binding vote on their pay and bonuses, which had been proposed by Mr Cable in a paper on tackling boardroom greed. Instead, he is now planning on a vote every three years, because of fears that an annual vote would add huge amounts of bureaucracy.

Chuka Umunna, the shadow Business Secretary, said: "It is greatly disappointing that the Government is backing down on its proposal for annual binding votes on executive pay."

Mr Cable's move comes after a "shareholder spring" in which investors revolted against the pay of a slew of chief executives, at companies such as Barclays, Aviva and William Hill.

WPP's chief executive, Martin Sorrell, could be the next in line when his £12.9m pay deal is put to the vote on Wednesday.

"The shareholder spring has been very effective in holding shareholders to account," Mr Cable told The Sunday Times. "But if investors have to do that every year with every company on the Stock Exchange, they could get tied up in bureaucracy."

A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills confirmed that a three-year remuneration policy was being considered, but said no decision had been made.