Real wages for workers fall while executive pay rises 11%

Real wages for British workers have again fallen, whilst top pay in the UK increased by 11%. This means wages still remain below 2010 levels. Nominal wages for chief executives at Britain’s biggest listed companies rose 6x times faster than that of the average worker. Executive pay nominally rose 11% with the average worker seeing their wage increase by 1.7%, a rate that is below inflation.

A worker on a median salary of £23,474 would have to work 167 years to earn the median annual pay of a FTSE 100 boss, an increase from 153 years in 2016.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said:

Most people’s wages are still below 2010 levels and are barely keeping up with inflation. So when they see the fattest cats get fatter yet again with an 11% pay rise, it’s no wonder people question the fairness of our society.

Real wages continue to fall despite unemployment reaching record lows.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said that workers on boards are part of the solution stating:

Workers should get seats on boardroom pay committees to bring a bit of common sense to pay decisions. And the government should put the minimum wage up to £10 an hour to give more workers a fairer share of the wealth they create.

Analysis from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief

The headlines may have as well been Neo-Liberalism continues. For 40yrs the wealthiest in society have got richer and richer whilst the average worker has seen little increase in their own takings.

The policies of slashing top taxes and destroying Unions have guaranteed complete corporate power in our society, seen when companies like Amazon avoid millions in tax. Labour’s attempts to strengthen union rights and encourage collective bargaining will increase the earnings for workers, and help narrow the gender wage gap, but for a full solution, they must learn from Germany and other European economies.

As Frances O’Grady stated having workers on boards is part of the solution to helping control the injustice in wage inequality in this country. Tax can play a role but allowing workers a say in management and decision making of companies can only provide common sense solutions to this decades-old problem.

This is a proposal that Theresa May talked about in her bid for the Tory leadership, but she swiftly dropped when she became leader. It’s time for Labour to pick up that policy and attempt to bring it into law.


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