Today we had a cracker – on the day that David Cameron announced the continuation of his repressive anti-growth policies, no less.
The John Lewis Partnership, which includes the Waitrose group of supermarkets, has announced a 17 per cent bonus for every single member of staff, after reporting a rise in profits.
That is equivalent to nine weeks’ extra salary, and is an increase from the 14 per cent paid out last year.
The firm is one of the few in the UK that is actually owned by its employees. The success proves something that this blog’s author has been saying for many years – that the best possibly business model is on in which everybody working at a firm is a shareholder in it. If everybody has a stake, everybody takes some of the profit.
No less than 84,700 people will receive this bonus. They will take that money and spend it in their local communities, on things that they need. That money will then go on to keep other businesses alive, and it is to be hoped that the fiscal multiplier process means it could create more wealth, helping the UK economy.
That is worth much, much more than the empty words David Cameron was throwing out during his speech earlier today – a speech on which this blog has already poured its disdain.
And let’s bear in mind that the amount these partners are getting is a much more honest figure than the bankers’ bonuses, for which Mr Cameron and his part-time Chancellor, Mr 0sborne, have been fighting so vigorously. The John Lewis staff actually deserve the money they are getting because it is based on the profits they have generated. The bankers’ bonus is based on nothing more than what they want.
If the UK is going to climb out of the current depression, it needs a few more companies like John Lewis – and a lot fewer politicians like David Cameron.