Cheques and Balances

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 pm, January 11th, 2012 - 2 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Is the title of the independent High Pay Commission’s report set up to look at “the reasons for the gap between high and low pay in the UK and why this matters.” It is very good and worth a read. HPC_final_report_WEB

It has relevance here too. Christchurch City Council CEO’s Tony Marryatt, whose pay late last year was voted up by $68,000 to $538,529 by seven votes to five including the vote of Mayor Bob Parker, should take note. So should Parker and co. The High Pay Commission makes a number of recommendations for governments, one of which is a call for more transparency about how higher salaries are set. This is also the Christchurch Press’ opinion.

Some extracts from the report:

 The High pay Commission’s year-long enquiry into pay at the top of UK companies has found evidence that excessive high pay damages companies, is bad for our economy, and has negative impacts on society as a whole. At its worst, excessive high pay bears little relation to company success and is rewarding failure.

During the last 30 year rewards have been flooding upwards, with far more modest returns going to the average employee. Since the mid-1970s, the general workforce’s share of GDP had shrunk by over 12% up to 2008.

In UK companies today, the pay gap between bosses and the average employee has grown dramatically, In the last year alone, as economic growth has slowed, executive pay in the FTSE 100 rose on average by 49% compared with just 2.7% for the average employee.

Since the financial crisis of 2007 we have seen the foundations of the current economic model shaken to the core.

There is now a strong sense of injustice at the fact that those at the top of our companies contine to reap significant rewards, while the wages of many ordinary workers are cut in real terms and their jobs become more uncertain. Since 2007, a million more people are unemployed, the workless household rate has increased by 5% and nearly a million young people aged 16-24 are on the dole.

There is also a strong sense of injustice in Christchurch – Marryatt’s pay is described as a ‘red rag’ to Christchurch residents, and Stuff reports little online support for his pay increase. The issue is not going to go away; a group called “No payrise for Tony Marryatt” is organising a leaflet drop to ratepayers and planning a second public protest for February 1. The facebook protest page is here.

2 comments on “Cheques and Balances”

  1. John D 2

    There are quite a lot of high salaries and perks in the UK local government sector. This is coming at a time when services such as libraries, health care etc is being cut back.

    It gets a lot of newspaper attention in the likes of the Mail, Express etc

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