INDEPENDENT NEWS

Telecom monopoly delivers megabucks for bosses

Published: Tue 20 Jul 1999 05:48 PM
The massive pay increase for Telecom's chief executive Rod Deane is only possible because the company has a virtual monopoly on its lines business, Alliance leader Jim Anderton says.
'It's not surprising that Telecom's bosses are so antagonistic towards regulation in the interests of the consumer: They are personally creaming spectacular sums of money for themselves out of Telecom's monopoly,' Jim Anderton said.
Rod Deane's pay increased by $200,000 to $1.88 million last year.
Jim Anderton said Telecom is obviously defensive about the way it rips off the New Zealand public and uses the proceeds to pay excessive salaries to its executives.
'It just goes to show how arrogant Telecom is that its departing Chairman Mr Shirtcliffe thinks there should be no criticism of Mr Deane's pay by anyone but shareholders.
'What about the millions of households whose line rentals are forced up by the rate of inflation every year, even though the costs of providing the service are actuall!
y falling? Telecom gives discounts only in the Wellington streets where it faces competition from Saturn. Everywhere else, it massively overcharges households so that it can over-pay Mr Deane.
'What about the six hundred Telecom operators who lost their jobs this year? Their jobs were lost so that Mr Deane could get another four thousand dollars a week.
'What about the Internet users who are being forced to pay a special monopoly premium so that Telecom can exploit its dominant market position in other areas to drive its Internet competitors out of business? They are paying more so that Mr Deane can pay himself more.
'I'm not surprised Mr Shirtcliffe and Mr Deane hate regulation so much. It would come straight out of their pockets.
'If ever there was a case for regulation of a lines business, it is exposed by the wild salary Telecom is lavishing on its chief executive. After the election this year, Telecom will be regulated and phones will be cheaper for New Zealand house!
holds and businesses. The Alliance will see to it,' Jim And!
erton said.
Visit http://www.alliance.org.nz for more information about the Alliance

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