CANBERRA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday railed against excessive salaries being paid to the nation's top business leader and bureaucrats.
Earlier this week, a Senate committee revealed that government-owned Australia Post's chief executive, Ahmed Fahour, earned 5.6 million Australian dollars (4.26 million U.S. dollars) in 2016, made up of a 4.4 million dollar salary and a 1.2 million dollar bonus.
Speaking on Melbourne radio on Friday, Turnbull said a "cult' of overpaid CEOs was emerging in Australian business, and said to many bosses were accepting highly-inflated, multi-million dollar salaries.
"I believe (Fahour's) salary is far too high. That is too much money for that job," Turnbull said.
"I think there are lot of corporate CEOs, by the way, who are overpaid. I think it has become almost a cult of excessive executive remuneration."
The prime minister said it "would be a good thing" if Fahour took a significant pay cut from next year, considering Australia Post is a government-owned and therefore taxpayer-funded company.
"I think that would be a good thing for Ahmed to do," he said. "I think Ahmed should step back and say, here in 2017, in an economy where a lot of people are doing it pretty hard, where budgets are tight, this is too much to be paid as CEO of a government owned-postal company."
"I think most people would look at this and scratch their heads and say 'give me a break'."
Earlier this week, a spokesperson from Australia Post defended the CEO's salary, saying: "Mr. Fahour's salary takes into account the size and complexity of the organization, which has an annual turnover of more than 6 billion Australian dollars (4.5 billion U.S. dollars)."