Sunday, September 4, 2016

 

British PM May says to set out proposals on corporate behaviour this year

The British government will put forward proposals later this year aimed at improving corporate behaviour, including tackling excessive executive pay, British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday.

During the contest to become Conservative Party leader and prime minister earlier this year, May pledged to overhaul corporate governance rules, including putting workers on company boards and making shareholder votes on pay binding.

"We want to look at the whole issue of corporate behaviour and we'll be bringing out some proposals later in the year in relation to this," May told reporters en route to the G20 summit in China.

Asked what particular aspects concerned her, she said issues including "chief executives' pay, as multiples of average workers' pay".

A survey by the High Pay Centre last month found the average pay package for a chief executive of a company in the FTSE 100 index of leading British companies rose more than 10 percent in 2015 to 5.5 million pounds ($7.3 million), on average 140 times more than their staff.

Asked whether she would order Britain's tax ministry not to do any so-called sweetheart deals with big multinational corporations, May said companies had a responsibility to pay tax.

Last week, European Union antitrust regulators ordered Apple to pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes to the Irish government after ruling that a special scheme to route profits through Ireland was illegal state aid.

"There is an issue in corporations paying taxes. There is a responsibility in paying taxes. Because their employees ... their children are at schools, they use the health service ... the goods are transported by roads and trains and so forth," May said.

"So it's not that companies have no responsibility."

($1 = 0.7523 pounds)

($1 = 0.8966 euros)

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