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Corbyn is right, action on high pay is overdue

10th January 2017

Corbyn is right,
action on high pay is overdue

By Michael Calderbank

For decades now, politicians have criticised the culture of lavish executive pay and bonuses.  But there has been precious little action.  John Major used to ask Chief Executives to “exercise restraint”. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown would ask shareholders to “show some responsibility”. But their moralistic pleading fell on deaf ears.  Britain’s bosses wanted to get their snouts in the trough, even though many of their employees were pushed into poverty.

The High Pay Centre’s most recent report (2016) showed the pay of leading FTSE 100 company Chief Executives have just rocketed by a further 10%, meaning that in total - including pensions and bonuses – they earn 129 times more than their typical employees.

Finally, in Jeremy Corbyn, we have a politician who means to do something about it. Rather than show their panic, the rich have resorted to mockery, as though it was inherently absurd to tackle their greed. But Corbyn’s words will be welcomed by millions across the country who are sick of being taken for a ride. 

Like all policies, this will need to examine carefully to see exactly how it can be implemented in practice. There are a number of options, including caps, maximum pay ratios, tax incentives, or public procurement conditions. It’s also true that the very rich are accustomed to pay for lawyers, accountants and advisers to devise avoidance schemes and find loopholes.

But let no-one be in any doubt. It’s time to make the rich pay, and Jeremy Corbyn is determined to do it. He deserves our full support.

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