LETTERS : If you think that's the rate for the job, Mr Brown, let's tes t it

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THE argument that a large company cannot be seen to pay its chief executive less than his or her peers is nonsense.

The only way to find the rate for the job is to see what applicants will accept as a going rate. A chief executive could be told that his salary was to be cut by, say, one-third and that he had a month to decide if he would accept or refuse the offer. Ifhe refused, the job could be advertised at the salary he was offered. Anyone who thinks that they are irreplaceable is living in cloud cuckoo land.

This procedure has been working on the shop floor for some time. Why should it not work in the upper echelons, too?

Martin Russell Newcastle upon Tyne

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