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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Now to our political

to our political debate. to our political debate. Federal

Parliament has been buffeted this

week by an outcry over week by an outcry over executive

salaries and the announcement by salaries and the announcement by

Pacific Brands but it also sank

1850 workers. Joining us from our

Melbourne studios is the finance

minister Lindsay Tanner and Joe

Ishaqi. Do you think Telstra or's

Sol Trujilo

Sol Trujilo deserves his $3 million

termination pay out? That is

debatable whether or not Telstra

shareholders will agree. It is a

symptom of a bigger problem in this

country, not as bad as the US, but

a big problem. A classic example of

long boom times and the end of that

boom where a lot of people in

corporate Australia at the Top End have been awarding themselves big

have been awarding themselves big

salaries and pay-outs. We clearly

have to do something about this.

The government is considering its

options. We are pursuing the issue

with the international level. At

the American Sarris influence what

happens here. I can understand why

people are angry. It is not a good

look. One estimate has him

pocketing a $33 million over four

years. Was he worth that?

years. Was he worth that? I years. Was he worth that? I cannot

give an estimate. There will be a

lot of debate about that. I do not

want to personalise these things.

It is a symptom of a bigger problem.

The ratio between big salaries and

directors' pay in some cases and ordinary workers pay has ordinary workers pay has gone

through the roof over the past 10

years. That is a problem and a

symptom of the huge amount of

symptom of the huge amount of money

coming into Australia as a result

from of the mining boom as as pressure

from the US where the problem is

out of control. We out of control. We are looking

closely at the options. It is not

an easy thing to deal with all

tackle and he had -- did not want

government running companies of

this kind. We are looking at the

options. I can understand why

people are angry.

people are angry. What can the

government do? Handicap executive

salaries? It is very interesting. I

the have just heard Lindsay Tanner said

the government will do something

about the remuneration of Sol

Trujilo. That is a significant

toughening of the government's

rhetoric. An interested about what

government will he says and the fact he says the

government will do something about

capping or executive salaries. Our

position has been always... I think

you did. I did not use that word in

anything I said. Right. Our

position is that the shareholders

should be the one to sign a from

executive remuneration. That has

and been Malcolm Turnbull's position

and my position.

and my position. It is a board

issue at the moment. We believe

that certainly with the massive

packages that are being paid to

senior executives that shareholders

should have the right to have a say

in the size of those packages will

some private companies? start can governments Place Cap

No. If

No. If the owner of a company or a

business wants to pay an employee a

particular amount of money, that is

up to them, but we are at odds with

the government. The government will

now step into the fray and that is

why we say that the shareholders,

the owners of the company, should

determine how much people are paid.

It is not for the government to

that. step in. And do we are at odds on

that. What sort of options is the

government looking at? I cannot

speculate on those. The example

that Joe's -- that Joe talks about

his of binding shareholders. It is

probably in theory if you toughen

determine the determine up the power of the shareholders to

determine the salary levels are but

one of the worries with that and

any option is that people are

created in this area. There is

always going to be smart people who

will find a way around restrictions.

They have to be thought about very quickly, or whether it is

shareholder votes or anything else,

this is not an easy area to deal

it with. A living at Pacific Brands,

it has emerged at the company received $15

received $15 million from taxpayers.

He was party to retort their

machines. Those machines will go

offshore. Should they be allowed to

do that? It depends on the specifics of the arrangement

between the government and the

company. There are various packages

designed to help companies in

stressed sectors like the textile clothing and

clothing and footwear sector,

retail, to change technology, to

change their strategy. It depends on

agreed. on the detail of what has been

needs agreed. There is a question that

needs to be considered. The company

is still operating and still

employing such -- some Australians.

We are disappointed with what has

happened with Pacific Brands. A lot

of people are now

of people are now suffering and

will struggle to find new employment, but the government is

acting to make sure that we do

everything possible to assist those

people and find them jobs and we

are acting to stimulate economic

activity. The big picture is what

counts here - getting money flowing,

activity in areas like construction

and retail moving so that the very

powerful downward pressures from overseas that are badgering the Australian

Australian economy are resisted.

Should Pacific Brands CEO pay back

some of her salary that has risen

to $1.8 million? The union says so.

There is a strong case for it.

Given that over 1,800 workers have

now lost their jobs, if I was a

shareholder for Pacific Brands, I would be demanding some

would be demanding some answers

from the chief executive who is very well remunerated. This is one

of the things that need to occur.

We need to have active shareholders,

shareholders that have a voice and shareholders that have a voice and

ensure that that voice is heard. We

can have rail against all these

executive packages but

executive packages but ultimately,

he who pays the piper calls the

tune. I think there is a significant

significant debate and appropriate

debate in Australia about what

there you give companies assistance,

financial packages, support, to

keep them in Australia. What do

they give up in return for taxpayer funding?

funding? One of the issues on the

table must be the level of executive remuneration.

executive remuneration. The

industry Minister has come under

intense fire overnight for saying

that no-one's job is safe. Is he

right? Certainly in his own case he

should be right, but in relation to

everyone else, I think he would be

best placed to try to have a

message of hope, a message that we

can get through this. I was very impressed with President

impressed with President Obama's

speech to his US Congress early in

the week where he said that we can

get through this, we can recover.

It will be difficult, the sea will

be rough, but we can get through it.

We have had messages from the

government all week about how bad

it will be. I will say to the

government, go back to a message of

hope. We have to have targeted action

action and we support

action and we support targeted real

action, not the massive spending

spree and on targeted spending

spree from the government, message

-- measured action. The message has

to be one of confidence. That has

been missing from Kevin Rudd this

week. Did you have anything to add?

Geri is the third liberals shadow

treasurer in 15 months. That is

treasurer in 15 months. That is

negative again. He fits into the

category of someone whose job is

not safe. He has expected --

accepted he chose his words well. accepted he chose his words well.

At the end of this year, most

Australians will have the same jobs

that they did at the start of the

year. Some people will lose their jobs,

jobs, there is always volunteers

but companies go broke in good

times. Those things are always

happening, even when the economy is

strong. We are committed to getting

Australia through these very

difficult times. There is cause for

hope. We are in a better position

than anywhere else in the world. We than anywhere else in the world. We are dealing with a huge

are dealing with a huge

contractions in the major economies

around the world. Ours is in good

shape but we will copse some damage.

Yes, Geri is right that hope is an

important message and an important

thing -- duo. But realism and

frankness it also matter and that