Privatised Utilities (Executive Pay)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 5th April 1995.

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Photo of Mr Peter Pike Mr Peter Pike , Burnley 2:30 pm, 5th April 1995

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what measures have been taken to prevent very large pay and share option increases being provided for executives of privatised utilities. [16455]

Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North

Pay increases for executives in the privatised utilities are a matter for the companies and their shareholders, not the Government.

Photo of Mr Peter Pike Mr Peter Pike , Burnley

Does the Minister recognise that the public are increasingly concerned that the Government seem so loth to take any action to stop the obscene payments that have made to some of the chief executives and other officials of the privatised utilities? May I suggest that, as far as North West Water is concerned, where a large part of our bills is for long-term capital investment, the consumers should be given shares in respect of that investment and thereby given a say in what Sir Desmond Pitcher and others should be paid.

Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North

The Labour party simply does not understand the benefits of privatisation—the improvements in the quality of service, the reductions in price and the benefits to consumers overall. The hon. Gentleman and Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen are completely captured by the politics of envy.