Monday, May 19, 2008

Dutch Cap Under Threat

Yes, the Dutch government has proposed capping fat cat bonuses and golden handshakes and the mega-rich are stamping their little feet.

Those good people at Shell, Unilever and Philips are objecting to the prospect of paying a little bit more for flaunting their wealth, God forbid they have to tighten their rather ample belts. The leader of the Dutch Labour Party, the appropriately named Mr Bos, has put forward a plan to introduce, among other things, a modest 30% tax on golden handshakes of over half a million Euros.

Half a million Euro's is currently 775,619 dollars or 398,190 pounds. That seems to be quite a lot of money in any one's book and you'd have thought any bloated plutocrat with a bit of nous would welcome the chance to contribute towards keeping bobbies on the beat to protect their wealth and nurses at their stations to keep the workers working - but no.

Shell's Generalissimo found the proposals "disturbing", the ING banking group capo was worried about "senior managers who are working themselves to the bone", and KPN's big cheese said "it feels like we're being discriminated against." Hmmmm, intriguing points I'm sure you agree.

What seems doubly irritating about the whole thing is that whilst Labour in Holland are busy proposing progressive taxation, the Labour Party here seem to be working tirelessly to abolish it. Can't we swap? I'd be happy to support Mr Bos to be Gordon's next replacement, and maybe Brown might have more luck on the continent.

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