Australian PM hits out at corporate fat cats’ pay packets

SYDNEY, May 21, 2008 (AFP) – Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd urged company executives to rein in their salaries Wednesday, amid a furore over an 80 million dollar (76.8 million US) payout to the head of an investment bank. Speaking after it was revealed that outgoing Macquarie bank chief executive Allan Moss would receive a farewell package worth 80 million dollars, Rudd said it was time for corporate executives to show restraint.

“We are not in the business of regulating, but I would say to all corporate executives today, it’s time corporate executives showed restraint,” the prime minister told reporters.

“Working Australians are finding it tough to make ends meet and they do look to our corporate leaders for an example, so I would ask them to show restraint, more restraint than we’ve been seeing.”

Moss, who has been with Macquarie for more than 30 years, will walk away from Australia’s largest investment bank with a salary for his final year of 25 million dollars.

The bank, known in Australia as the “the millionaire factory”, will also hand him a 25 million dollar bonus and shares worth more than 30 million dollars.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper described the pay packet as “off the planet” i