Several Cabinet members said Monday that banks should be urged to lower their salary levels, known to be considerably higher than those at firms in other industries, at a time when the government is preparing to use public money to handle the banking crisis.According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka, a number of ministers including Education Minister Nobutaka Machimura said during an unofficial Cabinet meeting that bank employees shouldn’t be receiving such high salaries when the government is trying to stabilize the financial market with public funds, especially considering public sentiment over the issue.Machimura made the remark after the Cabinet earlier in the day approved plans to submit five bills to the Diet for a 30 trillion yen effort to stabilize financial markets and boost the economy by reimbursing 2 trillion yen in income and residential taxes. In reply, Finance Minister Hiroshi Mitsuzuka said the ministry has already requested that the banking industry review its salary levels. Mitsuzuka added that it would be difficult for the ministry to issue an administrative order to private banks for the purpose.In addition, Muraoka said the banking industry should provide the public with information on salary levels to promote better public understanding of government spending.

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