WAYNE SWAN MP
MEMBER FOR LILLEY
CEO PAY REAPPROACHING CRISIS LEVELS
Executive pay in Australia is again soaring close to pre-GFC heights.
As we discuss reforms to drive prosperity and spread opportunity around our country, we cannot ignore the gross distortions in executive pay across our boardrooms. A widening gulf still exists between corporate performance and executive pay.
This Friday marks ten years since the collapse of Bear Stearns, the fifth largest investment bank in the United States.
Before the company tanked, triggering the Global Financial Crisis and Great Recession, its CEO took home US$156 million in salary and bonuses over five years.
In Australia, average CEO pay was $5.5 million a year before the GFC.
A report released today by The Australia Institute has revealed that the CEO of the average top 100 company in Australia was paid $5.2 million in 2017. Bank CEOs took home around 100 times more than average Australians.
Australia’s Treasurer during the Global Financial Crisis, Wayne Swan has said, “The gross distortions in CEO pay relative to average worker earnings strike at the heart of economic inequality in Australia.”
“A disconnected executive class breeds a disaffected working class.”
The Australia Institute’s report found that executive pay after the crisis was moderated by the Labor Government’s “two strikes” rule, which required a spill of a company’s board positions if its remuneration report was rejected by shareholders at successive AGMs.
At the time, a delegation of CEOs marched on Canberra, led by a Business Council chief who claimed that giving shareholders a greater say on executive pay would:
While the business community might consider executive remuneration “minutiae”, today’s report makes it clear that CEO salaries in Australia are anything but minute.
THURSDAY, 15 MARCH 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: DANIEL DE VOSS 0403 775 158
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