The government is planning to rip up restrictions on City bosses’ pay in order to attract more firms to the UK, the i has reported.
As rail workers walk out on strike over pay disputes, the Tory administration is looking to rip up rules brought in following the financial crash in order to make fat cat bosses better off.
Thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators will walk out on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
They could be joined by nurses and teachers, who are also calling for fairer pay packages, and barristers, who have already pledged to walk out over renumeration.
According to i reports, Steve Barclay, the prime minister’s chief of staff, wrote to chancellor Rishi Sunak with a plan for “deregulatory measures to reduce the overall burden on business”.
One key plank of the plan included “removing restrictions on director (and specifically NED [non-executive director]) remuneration as suggested by the London Stock Exchange Group to improve London’s attractiveness for listings”.
A copy of the confidential letter from Cabinet Office minister Barclay to the chancellor reads: “I trust you’ll agree this is a more proportionate regulatory response and reflective of the new approach to regulation outlined in the ‘Benefits of Brexit’ publication in January.”
The letter made clear it was “setting out the terms” for wider reform and includes explicit references to the need to change curbs on bosses’ pay.
Current rules on corporate pay stem from the UK’s previous membership of the European Union, many of which were imposed after the 2008 financial crisis.
They include a cap on bonus pay, set at no more than 100 per cent of fixed pay or double that with explicit shareholder approval.
The rules also include “clawback” arrangements in case a firm finds reason to recall any salary, and the power of shareholders to know the details of and approve directors’ pay packages.