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Jeremy Corbyn said a maximum wage was needed ‘if we want to live in a more egalitarian society and fund our public services’ [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

Isn’t it interesting how the media have latched onto what is actually a well-known Jeremy Corbyn preference, and tried to make it seem loony?

Mr Corbyn has been saying he wants legislation to describe a maximum wage for the highest earners, at least since he became leader of the Labour Party in 2015.

Suddenly it is big news, and his own earnings of £138,000 a year were plastered all over our TV screens during the morning reports – a lot when compared to yours or mine, perhaps, but a paltry sum next to those of the company execs who earned more than all of us, including Mr Corbyn, by the end of last week.

Some boardroom suits take home around £5 million every year; some take more. Meanwhile they force employees onto starvation wages that mean they have to claim from the benefit system to survive. Do you think that is reasonable? Because I don’t.

Reporters pressed Mr Corbyn to explain what he thought the maximum wage should be – but this is a diversionary tactic to make it seem silly, and completely misses the point.

Why should a maximum wage be a set figure? Surely it should depend on a company’s turnover and the amount the lowest-paid employees receive, shouldn’t it?

And what about those of us who aren’t part of a company but earn every penny we make by our own efforts?

What about movie stars? A particular name on a film poster can make a huge difference to its takings, and that can depend on the pay packet they receive. If everybody involved will get more as a result of their involvement, why not offer them the big bucks?

Other commentators have already suggested a ratio between the lowest-earning members of a business and those at the top. But it would be unfair to pluck arbitrary figures out of the air.

Logically, an organisation would need to be set up, if one did not exist already (the High Pay Centre, anyone?) to arrive at a logical set of terms for maximum pay.

Demanding figures from a politician in the middle of an off-the-cuff interview is unrealistic.

That’s why they do it, of course.

Jeremy Corbyn has called for a maximum wage for the highest earners, saying he fears Brexit will see the UK become a “grossly unequal, bargain basement economy”.

The Labour leader would not give specific figures, but said radical action was needed to address inequality. “I would like there to be some kind of high earnings cap, quite honestly,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday.

When asked at what level the cap should be set, he replied: “I can’t put a figure on it and I don’t want to at the moment. The point I’m trying to make is that we have the worst levels of income disparity of most of the OECD countries.

“It is getting worse. And corporate taxation is a part of it. If we want to live in a more egalitarian society, and fund our public services, we cannot go on creating worse levels of inequality.”

Corbyn, who earns about £138,000 a year, later told Sky News he anticipated any maximum wage would be “somewhat higher than that”.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn calls for maximum wage law | Politics | The Guardian

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