By Joseph Willits
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On this morning's Andrew Marr Show, Cameron reiterated his commitment to battle against "crony capitalism" and pursue a transparent agenda. Both the Observer and the Sunday Telegraph reported that the Prime Minister would personally back plans to make shareholder remuneration votes mandatory. Speaking to Andrew Marr, Cameron said that "pay going up and up and up when it’s not commensurate with success businesses are having" was wrong in a time of "market failure". He continued:
"Excessive growth in payment unrelated to success that’s frankly ripping off the shareholder and the customer, and is crony capitalism and is wrong … payments for failures, big rewards when people fail, make people’s blood boil."
Cameron promised "clear transparency" in three ways:
- "The publication of proper pay numbers, so you can really see what people are being paid".
- "Binding shareholder votes so the owners of the company are being asked to vote on the pay levels".
- A shareholder "vote on any parts about dismissal packages and payments for failure.”
Cameron also outlined the Government's commitment to growth. Every minister in the Cabinet was also a growth minister:
"This is a sleeves rolled up government that’s boosting the numbers of apprenticeships, boosting the number of work experience places, introducing the Regional Growth Fund, cutting corporation taxes, doing everything we can to help businesses start up and grow … The whole government has a growth review and a growth agenda to make sure every avenue of policy is about helping the economy to grow and to get people back to work."
Cameron also praised the "great show of solidarity" from "many private sector companies who took difficult decisions on issues like pay, in order to keep hold of jobs".
The Daily Mail reported this morning that Cameron was heading for a "showdown" with Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond over a referendum on Scottish independence. The ongoing talk of independence was "damaging" the Scottish economy, and was "unfair" to the Scottish people, Cameron said. He also accused Salmond of trying to "create a situation where this [independence] bubbles up and happens", when in reality Scotland's First Minister "knows that the Scottish people at heart don’t want a full separation". In the next few days, Cameron said the Government would be "setting out clearly what the legal position is" to "settle this issue in a fair and decisive way".
On the issue of Europe, Cameron pledged to block an EU wide Tobin tax. "If the French themselves want to go ahead with a transactions tax in their own country, then they should be free to do so", he said, but concluded the idea was not very sensible. Cameron also denied the "myth" that Britain had been left isolated in Europe with the drawing up of a new treaty. Cameron said he was both commited to, and relaxed about Britain relationship with the EU.
When asked about a potential threat from the Argentinians to the Falklands Islands (asked in the context of 'The Iron Lady'), Cameron was defiant and determined, whilst at the same time keen to maintain diplomacy:
“We must never put them at risk. We must make sure our defences are strong … there’s no question of negotiating; there’s no question of the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. We also need to build strong relationships with all countries in South America, and we’re doing that. We are permanently vigilant about the protection of the Falkland Islands and their defence.”
Cameron's interview with Andrew Marr concluded with an apology for comments suggesting Ed Balls was “like someone with Tourette’s”:
“I was speaking off the cuff, and if I offended anyone of course I’m very sorry about that. I think it’s a lesson for me that in the Commons I have to tune out the noise and concentrate on answering the question.”