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Costello all smirk, no action.



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Media Release

BOB McMULLAN MP DAVID COX MP

SHADOW TREASURER SHADOW ASSISTANT

TREASURER FEDERAL MEMBER FOR FRASER FEDERAL MEMBER FOR

KINGSTON

13 February 2003

COSTELLO ALL SMIRK, NO ACTION

In Parliament today Treasurer Peter Costello showed arrogant disregard for the growing concern among Australians over excessive ‘golden handshake’ termination payments for executives.

Mr Costello was keen to associate himself with the tone of public anger over these payments, but refused to support proposals put forward by Labor that would actually influence corporate behaviour.

Responding to a question from Mr McMullan, that the government ensure taxpayers no longer have to subsidise these excessive payouts, Mr Costello failed to take up the challenge.

When Mr Cox said the government should accept Labor’s amendment to give shareholders the right to vote on executive remuneration at annual general meetings, Mr Costello said ‘no’.

As late as Tuesday, Mr Costello rejected Labor’s amendment to provide shareholders with that right.

If the government is seriously concerned about these excessive payments, it needs to show it is prepared to do something about them.

Measures to tackle these excessive payments will be considered by the Shadow Cabinet in the near future.

Further information: Robert Garran (02) 6277 4803, 0419 692 504 David Cox (02) 6277 4117, 0418 847 830