Disraeli where are you? Gaskell we need you. Come back Booth and Rowntree, Marx and Engels… Pay gap predicted to reach Victorian levels..
Wage disparity between the UK’s top earners and the rest of the working population will soon return to the levels of the Victorian era unless action is taken to curb executive pay, according to a new report from the High Pay Commission.
In 2010, the average annual salary of FTSE 100 chief executives was more than £3,747,000, 145 times greater than the national median full-time wage of £25,800. Executive pay dipped slightly during the recession, but the report predicts that by 2020 the ratio will have spiralled up to 214:1.
At the same time a new ICM poll shows that 72% of the public think high pay makes Britain a grossly unequal place to live, while 73% say they have no faith in government or business to tackle excessive pay.
Meanwhile, a campaign to lobby FTSE 100 companies to adopt the Living Wage has been backed by the Methodist Church and its Central Finance Board.
The Rev Alison Tomlin, President of the Methodist Conference, publicly endorsed the launch of the FairPensions campaign at Methodist Central Hall on 2 May 2011, declaring: “The Living Wage is about treating people with dignity and respect; it is about recognising our value as individuals, as human beings. It is absurd to pay people a wage that will never allow them to meet their needs. The majority of those living in poverty are in working households and this kind of practice keeps people in poverty. FTSE 100 companies should lead the way in bringing about fair wages for all who work.”
The FairPensions campaign is encouraging people to lobby FTSE 100 companies directly online at www.activateyourmoney.org.
If you are still unconvinced that inequality matters, then why not listen to this excellent Guardian podcast, featuring Danny Dorling, Peter Saunders, Polly Toynbee and Max Wind-Cowie.
And if you are convinced – if you haven’t already done so – its surely high time you yet made our own Pledge to Close the Gap!