Prime Minister David Cameron gestures as he addresses the media in Ankara
Prime Minister David Cameron gestures as he addresses the media in Ankara July 27, 2010. REUTERS

Concerted efforts to tackle hefty City pay packets and reforming public services will form the Coalition's priority areas in the New Year, David Cameron has said.

The prime minister told the Sunday Telegraph that a shareholder vote on top packages was being looked at by the government.

"The market for top people isn't working, it needs to be sorted out. We've got to deal with the merry-go-round where there's too many cases of remuneration committee members, sitting on each other's boards, patting each other's backs, and handing out each other's pay rises. We need to get to grips with that," he said.

The PM said that the Coalition would pursue a new fairness agenda in 2012 to reflect in whatever the government does. "We need to redefine the word fair. We need to try to give people a sense that we have a vision at the end of this, of a fairer, better economy, a fairer, better society, where if you work hard and do the right thing you get rewarded," he said.

Cameron strongly defended the decision to opt out of the European Union treaty, insisting that it was a step in the right direction.

"Britain is a moderately Eurosceptic country," he told the paper. "The real problem of the eurozone is a competitiveness problem between Germany and other countries."

Asked about the dismal performance of the UK on the jobs front, Cameron referred to the oft-repeated policy of the Coalition of encouraging the private sector to take care of the redundancies in the public sector, thereby rebalancing the economy.

Cameron also defended the proposed reforms of welfare and public sector pensions. "When you're taking the country through difficult times and difficult decisions you've got to take the country with you," he said. But he ruled out any move to levy new taxes on people's wealth.