£663,000 boss identifies with lot of new doctors

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Indy Politics
Sir Iain Vallance, the £2,800-a- day chairman of BT, yesterday declared that he might find it "relaxing" to be a junior doctor in the National Health Service, writes Barrie Clement.

Sir Iain told the House of Commons Employment Committee that he worked a 70-hour week for £663,000 a year - plus £94,000 pensions contribution - and regarded it "fair and just" remuneration. Doctors earn on average £31,000 a year.

Asked to reflect on his controversial reference to junior doctors, he agreed it was flippant but added: "I work long hours which is precisely what junior doctors do." He hoped they also enjoyed a just and fair reward for their work.

Sir Iain told the committee that he held a second job as non-executive vice-chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland where he worked one-and-a-half days a month for £50,000 a year.

Sir Iain sat on the bank's remuneration committee which decided directors' salaries including that of the chief executive, who earned £17m a year, the highest-paid manager in a public company.

Angela Eagle, Labour MP for Wallasey, pointed out that the pay of the BT chairman had increased by 800 per cent since the company was privatised in 1984.

Sir Iain said he did not believe his employees, who had a 2.9 per cent rise last year, should have a say in his earnings. They had not registered any protest about his pay in consultation processes. In the past month he had been approached to join two companies where he would have been paid considerably more.

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