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Majority back 'fat cat' pay curbs, poll results show

Malcolm Curtis · 14 Jan 2013, 09:29

Published: 14 Jan 2013 09:29 GMT+01:00

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A poll conducted for Sonntagsblick showed 54 percent of respondents back the initiative  of small businessman and senator Thomas Minder that aims to end “rip-off” salaries in the corporate sector.

The results of the survey, published on Sunday, show that the proposal to be put to a national vote on March 3rd is supported by a majority of voters in all linguistic regions of the country.

The survey results indicate that only supporters of the right-of-centre Liberal party are opposed to the Minder initiative, which would give shareholders of Swiss companies an annual binding vote on the compensation of board directors and top management.

Minder’s goal is to end disproportionate pay increases paid to executives regardless of the performance of the companies they lead.

He also wants to end perks such as compensation paid in advance or golden parachute rewards given to departing bosses.

The federal government has opposed the Minder initiative with a counter proposal that would leave it up to shareholders to decide if they want a binding vote on executive pay.

Economiesuisse, the business lobby group, also opposes the initiative, fearing it would damage Switzerland's reputation as a place to do business.

But the poll suggests popular support is building.

Oscar Freysinger Swiss People’s Party (SVP) MP from Valais told SonntagsBlick charges are “very good”  that his party will officially back the proposal at a meeting of delegates on January 26.

This despite the fact that one of the SVP’s leading figures, Christoph Blocher, a billionaire industrialist, is opposed to the idea.

Meanwhile, Minder has won new support from Jacques Neirynck, Christian Democratic MP from Vaud, who has joined the initiative’s organizing committee, the Sonntag newspaper reported.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

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