Stefan Stern, the former Director of the High Pay Centre has said that a £1 million pay limit per year, as suggested by Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, would “cap” people’s success.
The Immigration Minister was responding to a question about whether it was acceptable for directors of a company housing asylum seeks to have been paid a total of £1.2 million. One director alone earnt £872,972.
She told MPs: “I don’t think anybody having a salary of that level is appropriate, whatever business they are in”.
Mr Stern told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “It is an unexpected statement from someone on her side of the political debate, and perhaps she had in mind people in the non-profit sector.
“Although, the words themselves do look a bit odd because some entrepreneurs are going to start businesses and if they are successful, they are going to earn a lot more than that.
“Partly through shares in the businesses and then whatever income they take out of it.
“The idea that you would put down that once-and-for-all figure as low as £1 million for big business is extraordinary.
“It is going to put a cap on a lot of people’s aspirations, dreams and success. I think she might rethink that one.”
'lack of common sense'
bet365 Chief Executive Denise Coates poses with her Commander of the British Empire (CBE) medal
On Wednesday it was also revealed that the highest paid boss in the UK was given £265 million, including dividends.
Co-founder of the online gambling site bet365 Denise Coates received £48 million more than last year.
In the year to the end of March her pay rose from £199m to £220m. The firm paid out £90m in dividends in the same year, half of which are thought to have gone to Ms Coates, as the owner of half of Bet365's shares.
Mr Stern described the pay rise as “extraordinary” but “problematic”.
“It is an extraordinary one, not least in the industry that she is in and the costs that the rest of us bear because of the success of that industry,” he said.
“That does really make it doubly problematic. It is also just a number that is almost impossible to imagine.
“She cannot possibly have time or need for anything like that amount of money.”
“There is a lack of common sense in her board room, and a lack of perspective and judgement. There is a real blindness to the reality of how everyone else is living.”