If we examine who is complaining about Corbyn’s maximum wage idea, we’ll know why

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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10 thoughts on “If we examine who is complaining about Corbyn’s maximum wage idea, we’ll know why

  1. jeffrey davies

    has tony blair said the right wage for right person even taking council wages sky high greed it seems was rife among them

  2. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    I definitely agree with this providing it affects people taking home those huge sums referred to. It is important not to discourage enterprise and the profits from it but paying footballers (to quote Jeremy) millions for playing a game is completely out of all proportion.

  3. Fibro confused

    A cap on daft incomes like 50 million a year like some of the top footballers earn, as Jeremy has said who needs 50 million a year, there is a better way of capping the top, very top earners you just bring in a higher tax level, we all ready have the system to implement that, should be doable once all the loop holes are well and truly shut.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      And then the higher earners complain that they are funding handouts to the undeserving poor.
      Why can’t working people be paid an amount that acknowledges the effort they put into their jobs? What’s wrong with that?

      1. Fibro confused

        Employers who reward employees with a proper wage what a good idea Mike, they probably could if their pay levels weren’t so top heavy and geared to the top few in the company, Doh back to the same problems, how do we get companies to accept less in profits to pay staff more? or restructure the whole companies pay without affecting profits? Quite like the idea of paying less corp tax if the company pays staff more fairly, bit of a win win imo happier more productive loyal staff, more £ going into the economy and via taxes, makes sense to me.

  4. Jude

    But… but… but.. I’m planning to become a millionaire at some point in the future when all’s well, and Mr Corbyn is denying my right to aspire to the almost impossible and completely improbable.

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