Controversy over wage of public energy boss
5 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch energy sector was embroiled in controversy again on Tuesday after it was revealed that the boss of publicly-owned utility Essent earned EUR 821,000 last year.
5 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch energy sector was embroiled in controversy again on Tuesday after it was revealed that the boss of publicly-owned utility Essent earned EUR 821,000 last year.
Michiel Boersma earned EUR 499,000 in salary, a bonus of EUR 227,000 and a pension contribution of EUR 95,000.
Under pressure from its shareholders, Essent — which is completely owned by provinces and municipal councils — revealed on Tuesday how much its directors are being paid.
Heated discussion has raged in recent weeks over the income of Ludo van Halderen, who earned EUR 815,000 in salary, bonuses and a pension contribution as chief of the struggling public energy company Nuon.
Boersma's income was slightly higher and this re-ignited debate on Tuesday about the remuneration packages offered to publicly-owned utility company bosses in a time of stringent government economising.
Boersma earned considerably more than the bosses of other publicly-owned companies, newspaper 'De Volkskrant' reported.
Dutch rail NS boss Ad Veenman earned EUR 618,000 and Schiphol chief Gerlach Cerfontaine earned EUR 602,000. Connexxion bus company boss Peter Kortenhorst earned EUR 535,000.
Politicians and unions have reacted angrily to the high wages paid to energy company chiefs. Shareholder province Noord Holland has also passed a motion officially rejecting the bonuses paid to the Nuon boss.
The wage of the Eneco boss has not yet been made public, but was lower in 2003 in comparison with the earnings of the heads of Essent and Nuon.
It has previously been reported that energy bills for consumers will increase considerably this year due to the continued high price of oil and gas.
Economic Affairs Minister Laurens Jan Brinkhorst angrily confronted Essent, Nuon, Eneco and Delta in January after it was revealed that significant administrative foul-ups were being encountered in processing customers who moved house.
The Democrat D66 minister subsequently reached an agreement with the energy companies that the problems must be reduced by 1 April and completely eradicated by 1 July. An Essent spokesman said the problems have been eliminated as per the agreement.
Essent shareholders — including the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland, Brabant and Limburg — can confront the company board at a meeting on 21 April about the company's annual account figures and the income paid to board members.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news