Top bosses have made more money in 2015 than most UK workers will earn all year – High Pay Centre



“By the end of today, Britain’s top bosses will have made more money in 2015 than the average UK worker earns in an entire year,” according to calculations by the High Pay Centre thinktank.

“The calculations show that earnings for company executives returning to work this Monday will pass the UK average salary of £27,200 by late afternoon on ‘fatcat Tuesday.’

“FTSE 100 Chief Executives are paid an average £4.72 million. The High Pay Centre found that even if CEOs are assumed to work long hours with very few holidays, this is equivalent to hourly pay of nearly £1,200.”

The rest of the article is on the High Pay Centre website.

Vox Political‘s attention was drawn to this by a tweet from Josie Long: “Have a look at this. It takes two days for the people at the top to surpass the average UK salary. Two days.”

According to Russell Brand’s book Revolution (which has a lot more in it than most reviewers want you to know), human beings and higher primates have an in-built sense of fairness and it seems clear that the pay of these FTSE100 bosses offends that sense.

Russell quotes a laboratory experiment in which “monkeys in adjacent cages… perform the same task for food. Monkey A does the task and gets a grape, delicious. Monkey B who can see Monkey A performs the same task and is given cucumber, yuck.

“Monkey B looks p***ed off but eats his cucumber anyway. The experiment is immediately repeated and you can see that Monkey B is agitated when his uptown, up-alphabet neighbour is again given a grape. This time when he is presented with the cucumber, he is f***ing furious; he throws it out the cage and rattles the bars. I got angry on his behalf and wanted to give the scientist a cucumber in a less amenable orifice. I also felt a bit p***ed off with Monkey A, the grape-guzzling little b*****d.”

Who can blame him? The figures from the High Pay Centre betray an even worse situation, if you think about it, because most people work a lot harder than FTSE100 executives, simply to survive. Why are they guzzling grapes while we have to cope with cucumber?

According to Russell (again), “studies show that [this inherent sense of fairness is] less pronounced in environments where people are exposed to a lot of marketing.”

So all that “Buy this – it’ll make you sexy” advertising is actually telling you that it’s okay to have more – and better – than the next person. If it’s okay for you, then you have to accept that it’s okay for someone else to have more – and better – than you. Right?

Well, is it?

And if it isn’t, what are you going to do about it? Bend over and wait for someone to stick a cucumber up your “less amenable orifice” – as usual?

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  1. Jim Round January 6, 2015 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    The last few sentences are what I’ve been saying on here for a while.
    I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve heard people say “Amazon don’t pay tax and treat workers badly, it’s wrong”
    Me “so you won’t ever be buying from them then?”
    Them “well they are the cheapest for that new film on DVD so I will make an exception”
    Same goes for any other big corporations, where do most people do their grocery shopping these days?
    We have to stop being a sheep consumerist society.

  2. penniewoodfall January 6, 2015 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Very good! :)

  3. Mark Potter-Irwin January 6, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about, remember “we are all in this together”. So that’s alright then!

  4. Thomas M January 7, 2015 at 1:56 am - Reply

    Whilst a boss should make more then a worker, noone should get obscene levels of pay without a very good reason for it in my view.

  5. Chris January 7, 2015 at 11:25 am - Reply

    The ring fenced and full National Insurance Fund is wrongly being called in surplus since 2013, when this is the non-paid out state pension (payable if keep job or lose it) since 2013.

    The flat rate pension hitting women born from 1953 and men born from 1951, after this totally unnecessary rise in retirement age (as pension fully funded), means
    NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE for huge numbers and LESS NOT MORE for over 70 per cent of rest.

    This means the over half of over 60s that are within the working poor, continue to have 12 per cent of their wage compulsorily deducted each year, whilst forever losing 7 years payout as a couple, and then ending up with either none or even smaller state pension than current lowest of all rich nations bar poor Mexico.

  6. jim January 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Hhhemmm I know what is meant but it somehow comes out that in 2015 bosses earned more than joe blogs “in a year” shouldn’t that be in a LIFETIME?

    • Mike Sivier January 8, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      No – because 2015 was only a few days old when the article went up. The meaning was perfectly clear unless the reader intentionally misread, in my opinion as the person who reposted the article.

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