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In the age of austerity, the top 1% increased their income by 27%

Despite the tsunami of public anger against bankers’ bonuses and multi-million salaries, last year the pay and benefits of top business executives rose by just over £1 million each on average. It rose from £56,150 a week to £76,920, a rise of £20,770 a week. This is a rise per week almost as great as the annual average wage in Britain today.

It’s a marker of just how disjointed British society has become. So far from being all in it together, we have in fact never been further apart for over a century. Nothing whatever has been done to arrest this slide into ever-growing inequality, and worst of all nothing has been done to stop huge payouts to executives even when their companies are making big losses.

What has happened is that as public pressure has increasingly been exerted against inordinate basic salary and bonuses, a way round has been found by massively inflating other components of the composite pay package. In particular, long-term incentive plans (i.e. share awards based on companies’ performance over several years) have soared by more than 80% across the corparate spectrum in the last year, so much so that this item accounted for more than half of chief executives’ total remuneration. In other words, it increased their overall pay by more than £10,000 a week.

This might be justified on the grounds that it reflected the company’s solid performance over those previous years. But there are three counter-arguments. One is that it may simply mirror a rising economy and does not particularly represent successful achievement on the part of top executives.

Second, even if that is not so, corporate success should properly be regarded as reflecting the performance of the whole corporate team, not just the person at the top, yet that pyramid below gets no comparable award. The third is that when corporate performance takes a dive, the executives at the top don’t take a comparable hit in their own pay packages. In other words, under the present rigged system pay at the top is a one-way escalator.

2 Comments

  1. Robert says:

    Well of course we were all angry with the bankers, but of course Labour had already brought in welfare reforms, even when the supposed good times were here. I no longer feel much anger for the bankers or the hangers on, I do get angry when I see politicians trying to explain it had nothing at all to do with them.

    I suspect most people are now use to the drama which we see with the police miner strike, Savile, care homes , none of this had anything to do with politicians, well no they were all to busy ensuring we were off to wars which would make the leaders millions.

    Then you have the expenses scandals.

    Bankers are not the problem it’s the politics of this country that has allowed all this to happen

  2. greenan common says:

    To all their misdemeanors
    To all their folly and lies
    Thy theft thy fraud thy treachery
    So spoken so despised
    Like cattle with nought,n fodder
    So forced I stand to shudder
    Tis locked out factory gates
    To all thy bricks and mortar
    Thy bankrupt welfare states
    To bankers pound and sold
    Like in oozing festering sores
    So neat a Cowell sum
    To sweet ,n candy divas
    Thy swindling musical scores
    For neat,Beijing sandwiches
    In seas of China Tea
    Thy despot Gordon Brown
    Laid is fiddle down on me
    Ay, In all their misdemeanors
    To all their folly and lies
    Where Elgars sweet fine music
    Sold in beauty to thine skies
    Where Liberals bought their powers
    To votes so sold by knaves
    Thy tories sold this storey
    Tis Land of Hope and Glory
    In all thy light was shattered
    Like low Pound high yield Dollars
    Thine only God is profit
    Ye well heeled toffee scholars
    Ay, For all thy rent and mortgages
    Thy thieving wretched lies
    Thy tax avoidance fillies
    And their cheating corporate flies
    Tis time to show a Red rag
    Show the red rag to the Bull
    Tis time to hang a red rag
    Hang a red rag round the bull
    Tis time to dance a reckoning
    To level out thine score
    Set all the church bells ringing
    Let thy anger voice be heard
    I,ve only just a started Lord
    My slumber with eternity
    Would not be spent in Hell
    Tis time ti show a red rag
    Show a red rag to the Bull
    Tis time to hang a red rag
    Hang a red rag round the Bull
    So be driven hard hard like nails boys
    With hearts of English Oak
    Tis time to dig our furrows
    Let thy toffees wear the yolk
    To sweat them like an oxen
    In the fields of their theft
    Even up thy averages
    Hang red rags round their necks
    Ay, for all my misdemeanors
    For all all my folly and lies
    I cannot hold my tounge no more
    For those i so despise
    To Shelley, Keats, n Byron
    I write these words for thee
    Rise up my sleeping giants
    Tis time to come to Tea
    Tis time to wear the rag rag
    Show the red rag to the gun
    So come my friends my comrades
    My sisters ,brothers too
    Be not ye all afraid or a mind confused to dull
    Tis time to hang a red rag
    Hang thine red rag round a Bull
    Tis time

    ps How much longer must we endure the crack of the whip Politicians , Bankers lawyers , Celebrity , The entire system is run for their benifit,decadence and profit of the golden ,or chosen ones .
    yours Greenan Common

    at every oppurtunity .

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