• Fat cats feel pain of rising household bills

    Posted on April 2, 2012 by in News

    Source: Daily Telegraph

    ENERGY and water bosses will have their pay rises and bonuses slashed – with the savings passed on to household bills.

    Treasurer Mike Baird will impose the 2.5 per cent a year public service wage cap on all 20,000 employees of state-owned corporations, eliminating the pay rises of up to 19 per cent that some utilities chiefs have given themselves.

    "It is what the public would expect," Mr Baird said.

    Ausgrid boss George Maltabarow's salary package rose 14 per cent last year to $882,688, while Endeavour Energy supremo Vince Graham raked in $727,651 after a 7 per cent rise.

    Sydney Water's former CEO Kerry Schott was on $613,462 after a 19 per cent – or $99,080 – rise.

    Mr Baird said he can trim $413 million over the next four years by restricting wages bills for each state-owned corporation (SOC) to 2.5 per cent a year. The cap was rolled out to other public service sections last year.

    "The government is well aware of the burden that increasing power and water bills are placing on households and this is another measure we can take to put downward pressure on those prices," Mr Baird said.

    "Recent years have revealed some significant pay increases and bonuses, particularly given the economic climate. Just as we have implemented a wages policy across the public service, we expect our state-owned corporations to play their parts by ensuring pay rises are fair and in line with this.

    "We are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the impact of electricity and water price rises and significant cost savings can be achieved by bringing wage increases under control."

    Other SOCs to be affected by the changes include Delta, Eraring, Essential, Hunter Water, Landcom, MacGen, Newcastle and Port Kembla Port Corps, State Water, Sydney Ports Corporation and Transgrid.

    Mr Baird has written to all ministers who are shareholders in the corporations instructing them to enforce the changes under the State Owned Corporations Act.

    Any rises over 2.5 per cent can only be funded by "employee-related cost savings", with 2010-11 the base year for CEO and senior executive salaries.


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