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McCluskey attacks deceit on pay

The callous deceit of the coalition’s claim that ‘we are all in this together’ was unmasked today with a new report showing chief executives earning 145 times the average wage. Unite, the largest union in the country, said that today’s High Pay Commission report revealed that pay disparities between the highest earners and the rest of the population showed the country was heading to a pay hierarchy that characterised pre-industrial revolution Britain, not the Victorian era.

Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, said:

This report is the latest evidence that the coalition’s proud boast that: ‘We are all in this together’ is a callous deceit, compounded by the fact that inflation is rocketing and living standards for average families are in a nose dive.

Many of those on the national median full-time wage of £25,800 are either experiencing wage cuts or pay freezes, if they still have a job. The government seems to expect pay restraint – and job losses – for the majority, while the small minority get away scot-free.

The report exposes the excessive pay of FTSE 100 chief executives who are currently paid 145 times the average wage – or annual take-home pay of £3.7 million.

The government should take serious note also of the new ICM poll which shows that 72 per cent of the public think high pay makes Britain grossly unequal, while 73 per cent have no faith in government or business to tackle excessive high pay.

Ministers need to enact legislation to curb this conveyor belt of greed amongst the City elite. And what is more sickening is that some of these chief executives get paid these lottery figure salaries even when their companies are under performing.

Shareholders – institutional and private investors – need to be much more active in monitoring and curbing the pay of their executives.”

According to the High Pay Commission report, the top 0.1 per cent of UK earners are set to see their pay rise from five per cent to an estimated 14 per cent of national income by 2030 – taking top pay back to levels not seen since Victorian England.

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