Clegg backs off from staff votes on pay

Tim Wallace
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THE DEPUTY Prime Minister today called for more employee ownership of firms, arguing that a share-owning workforce is more productive and has better long-term job prospects.

The stance represents a turnaround from ideas mooted last month, including proposals for employees to sit on remuneration boards and a limit to executive pay based on average earnings in the company.

The new position means the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are now united – “you couldn’t put anything between the parties on this,” said a source close to Clegg.

Tax incentives and a “right to request” share ownership are under consideration, while Clegg also wants clearer figures on executive pay and corporate spending.

He pointed to evidence suggesting employee-owned firms are 25 per cent less likely to fail than other companies, and increase employment more rapidly.

Clegg described capitalism as “one of history’s great success stories,” claiming that his proposals would counter “crony capitalism”.

Meanwhile he blasted Labour leader Ed Miliband, describing him as “in hock” to a major vested interest – the trade unions.