Swiss voters throw out plan to limit chief executives’ pay

A PROPOSAL to limit the pay of Swiss bosses was overwhelmingly turned down yesterday, with nearly two third of voters rejecting a campaign by the country’s Young Socialists.

The rejected 1:12 referendum would have restrained high salaries to 12 times the lowest salary in each company, but 65.3 per cent of Switzerland’s voters decided against the measure.

A majority of voters were against the change in all the country’s 26 regions.

Johann Schneider-Amman, the country’s liberal economy minister, called the proposals “absurd” and said he was glad the electorate had shunned them, while Young Socialist leader David Roth said the outcome was disappointing.

Executive head hunter and Hedley May partner Deborah Warburton commented: “Even though it was a no vote, the question of how to make executive pay fairer is still very much a live issue, with the UK having implemented a law giving shareholders a binding vote on executive pay.”

Earlier this year a similarly large majority voted to ban large payouts for departing executives in the typically business-friendly country.

Switzerland is also set to hold a ballot on whether to guarantee a minimum income, in which the state would pay SFr2,500 (£1,700) every month to each citizen.