France's new socialist government has announced an immediate, dramatic clampdown on fat-cat pay, promising to cap the salaries of chief executives at state-owned companies which could see top pay-packages slashed or halved.
The president François Hollande vowed during the election campaign that in majority state-owned companies, the highest salary must not be 20 times more than the pay of the lowliest worker. The squeeze on state fat cats, expected to be enacted by decree next month, is part of the new government's quest for France to set a moral example in a crisis-hitEurope where top earners' stratospheric pay packages and benefits has exasperated workers and voters. The measure will sit alongside Hollande's promised new top tax rate of 75% on income over 1 million euros, which is extremely popular among the French public, and which he has described as an act of "patriotism" and "morality". Socialists brushed aside criticisms from the right that state pay-caps could make it difficult to recruit from private sector. » | Angelique Chrisafis in Paris | Wednesday, May 30, 2012