PM sidelines CEO salaries cap proposal

Ordered to postpone vote on MK Shelly Yacimovich's bill.

April 25, 2010 11:42
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu Vicar 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich on Sunday tried to put on a brave face after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Likud cabinet members in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to postpone the vote on her bill calling for a salary cap on CEO earnings.

"We congratulate the prime minister over the fact that for the first time, he is taking action to limit the exaggerated salaries of the top echelon," Yacimovich said in a statement that appeared on her personal Web site. "However, we will not allow this matter to be mucked about. Our proposal will be passed by the large [Knesset] majority it has if the government does not find a genuine solution."

The Ministerial Committee was due to vote on the bill sponsored by Yacimovich and Likud MK Haim Katz later in the morning. According to polls taken by various media outlets, the bill had the support of at least eight of the 19 ministers on the committee, while several others had not made up their minds and only three had openly declared their opposition.

Related Article: The pros and cons of the salary bill

Alarmed that the bill might win cabinet support despite his opposition and that of Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Netanyahu convened a special meeting of the Likud ministers before the weekly cabinet meeting and ordered them to insist that the vote on the legislation be postponed for 60 days. In the meantime, he said, he had appointed Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to head a committee of ministers to recommend ways of restricting the salaries of the CEOs.

According to a statement put out by his office, Netanyahu told the Likud ministers, "Regarding the salaries of executives in the private sector, I am willing to consider various solutions to the problem. But we must study the matter deeply. We are operating today in a global economic world and first of all we must examine what are the successful solutions that already exist in other parts of the enlightened world. We must solve the problem of the salaries of the senior executives without adopting a solution that will cause the Israeli economy other problems."

Earlier in the day, Yacimovich was not so sanguine about the possibility that her bill would not be approved by the committee.

"The battle is close and it’s hard to know whether we’ll succeed in passing this important bill," she told Army Radio. "There is a very thin layer of a few rich CEOs who get huge salaries. These people don’t need to demonstrate and carry signs outside the Prime Minister’s Office. They meet ministers at social functions, and a little small talk is enough for them to explain why this is a stupid bill that will drive CEOs abroad and all kinds of such drivel."

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