Top pay rises continue apace while real wages fall for ordinary families

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Commenting on a report published in early Spring 2013 by the Chartered Institute of Management which says that UK chief executives saw a 15.8 per cent increase in their salaries in the past year - mostly made up of bonuses, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: “Ordinary people are suffering the biggest squeeze on their incomes in almost a century, but families' financial pain is not being shared by their top bosses who have huge bonuses to cushion them against any drop in their living standards.

“While real wages continue to fall for working people, the cosy pay clubs setting salary and bonus payouts for top executives are awarding payouts that bear little relation to company performance and that only serve to widen the gap between the richest and the poorest in the UK.

“With the AGM season almost upon us, our new share owner group aims to inject a long overdue dose of reality into British boardrooms and will use the power of our pension funds to encourage a new and more responsible corporate Britain.”

But the leadership of the very Trade Unions also should take a leaf out of their book of good advice and take less pay themselves. They have a big mouth, and rightly so, when it comes to the salaries of those chief executives and bankers but their own salaries and bonuses also are not without, that is for sure.

It is also those high salaries of chief executives, including those of trade unions, councils and civil service, that distort the so-called “average” wages and salaries in Britain.

If those CEOs, and also ministers and member of parliament, were to receive but the same pay as a skilled worker than they all soon would begin to live in the real world and come down to earth rather quickly, and that salary would be around the £25,000 to £30,000 per year; the kind of salary most people have to live on, and some on a great deal less.

Parliamentarians have continuously voted themselves rather high annual pay increases why the froze the public sector workers one for three years and now give about a 1% increase – well below the rate of inflation – and which is immediately negated by increase in contributions to pensions and national insurance and taxes, such as the council tax, not to speak from the rising costs of living. This means that, in reality, the ordinary worker, especially those in the public sector have not just had a pay freeze and now a measly and miserly increase in pay but had to take a serious pay cut. At the same time CEOs and MPs get more and more money and even more so those in the private sector.

We do not need a new government; we need a new system...

© 2013