Incoming Bank of England boss Mark Carney told MPs he would not be an "emperor" when he takes on one of the most powerful jobs in Britain later this year.
But the current governor of the Bank of Canada did not rule out changing the Bank's remit to target inflation as he paved the way for a thorough review of the UK's monetary policy framework for the first time in more than 20 years.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
In his inaugural hearing with MPs ahead of taking up the job in July, Mr Carney appeared calm and relaxed as he fended off questions over his controversial pay deal. He insisted his more than £800,000-a-year pay and perks package - which includes a £250,000 housing allowance - was "equivalent" to that of outgoing governor Sir Mervyn King on a "pay and pension" basis.
But MPs on the Treasury Select Committee questioned whether he was concerned about "resentment" among Bank of England staff, given that their pay has been frozen for two years. Mr Carney will be paid the accommodation allowance on top of a £480,000 salary, well above the £305,000 pay level of Sir Mervyn.
The 47-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker rejected suggestions that his new position would essentially put him at the head of a "court of the Sun King", playing down differences in style between himself and Sir Mervyn, who he said also had a "consensual" approach.
Mr Carney - dubbed the George Clooney of central banking - admitted the UK's shaky economic outlook was unlikely to change substantially by the time he arrives in the post, saying: "Unquestionably, when I come to the table, there will continue to be considerable slack in the UK economy, as evidenced by the labour market and more broadly across industry."
He said it was "entirely possible... and in fact probable" that the current policy stance was "consistent with the economy achieving escape velocity". But amid increasing calls for the Government and policymakers to do more to help spur on growth, he signalled a possible shake-up of the Bank's 2% inflation remit as he told MPs the Bank could consider a "short debate" on changing monetary policy framework.
He has already hinted in a recent speech that it might be better for the Bank to target growth and the size of the economy, instead of the rate of inflation. But Mr Carney was keen to talk down the prospect of a growth remit, saying while there were "advantages" he was "far from convinced".
He said there was a danger people would not understand how growth targeting works, which would reduce its effectiveness.