Tag Archives: salary

Top bosses’ pay passed the UK average for all of 2021 – in just five working days

 

Do they get too much or you get too little? Or both?

According to the High Pay Centre, median FTSE 100 CEOs’ earnings for 2021 surpassed the median annual wage for a full-time worker in the UK by around 5:30 pm on Wednesday, January 6.

It seems that conditions in 2020 mean the situation has taken a tiny, baby step towards equality – although when you see what this actually means, you may not think so:

We estimate that with CEO pay levels remaining essentially flat in their analysis, while pay for UK workers had increased slightly, it means that CEOs have to work 34 hours of the year to surpass median earnings, rather than just 33 hours in 2020.

Wow. Don’t get out the bunting for the street party just yet.

Pay for top CEOs today is about 120 times that of the typical UK worker. Estimates suggest it was around 50 times at the turn of the millennium or 20 times in the early 1980s.

Factors such as the increasing role played by the finance industry in the economy, the outsourcing of low-paid work and the decline of trade union membership have widened the gaps between those at the top and everybody else over recent decades.

This is optimistic:

These figures will raise concern about the governance of big businesses and whether major employers are distributing pay in a way that rewards the contribution of different workers fairly. They should also prompt debate about the effects that high levels of inequality can have on social cohesion, crime, and public health and wellbeing.

I don’t think they’ll raise concern. How can anybody worry about this huge inequality when they’re never told about it?

Be honest…

When’s the last time your boss told you how much more they earn than you do?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Did £150k-salaried Boris Johnson oppose #FreeSchoolMeals because he has to buy food for his own kids?

Rolling in it: Boris Johnson has received enormous amounts in donations related to his work as a member of Parliament. But now, as prime minister, he complains about having to pay for his own food and that of four of his six children, while denying free school meals to people earning less than £6 per hour.

Sour grapes from the UK’s prime minister?

In this case it seems likely.

Boris Johnson was one of the 322 Conservative MPs who voted against free school meals for children whose families have fallen below the poverty line, either because of 10 years of Conservative-fuelled wage depression or because the Covid-19 crisis is forcing them to live on a fraction of their normal income.

His choice to starve poverty-stricken children came only weeks after it was revealed that he is “complaining about money” because he is having to use his £150,402 prime ministerial salary to feed himself, his paramour and four of his six children. At least his accommodation is provided by the state, though!

Was his vote fuelled by resentment?

Well, it is a possible interpretation. It doesn’t present the prime minister in a very good light but, if people complain when you mention this to them, just remind them that they voted for him.

Of course, Johnson does receive a certain number of donations from pro-Tory sources. These seem to have dried up since he became prime minister but I note from the register of members’ financial interests that he has received two “gift hampers” worth a total of £1,100, that he registered in May.

Could the contents of those not have helped him out?

And the £14,672 he has made from his various books since the current Parliament began last year should also ease the burden a little, This Writer would have thought.

Come to think of it, some of the money donated to him in previous years might come in handy, considering the huge amounts he received.

For example, in 2019 he received from polling and market research company CTF Partners Ltd,  £3,000 and an interest-free loan of £20,000 for office and staffing costs.

From JC Bamford Excavators Ltd, of Uttoxeter (Constituency: Burton and Uttoxeter; MP: Kate Griffiths (Con)): £64,000.

From “general secondary education” firm RTC Education 2 Ltd (Constituency: Harrow West; MP: Gareth Thomas (Lab)): £10,000.

From First Corporate Shipping Ltd (trading as The Bristol Port Company) (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £25,000.

From “holding company” IPGL Ltd (Constituency: Kensington; MP: Felicity Buchan (Con)): £20,000.

From real estate trader Countywide Developments plc (Constituency: Warwick and Leamington; MP: Matt Western (Lab)): £10,000.

From bookkeepers MET Trading Ltd (Constituency: Leeds North East; MP: Fabian Hamilton (Lab)): £5,000

From investment firm Killik & Co LLP (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £10,000.

From Audley Ltd (for whom Companies House failed to provide the nature of the business) (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £5,000.

From “business support services” firm Albion Agencies Ltd (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £5,000.

From Dow Investments plc (Constituency: Edinburgh North and Leith; MP: Deidre Brock (SNP)): £10,000.

And from private donors: an eye-watering £633,900!

And a prime minister who has recently received this kind of wealth begrudges free school meals to children whose parents are living on £5.80 an hour.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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New council chief gets £55 for UNCONTESTED elections – and there’s no money for services

Powys County Hall.

What a barmy contradiction!

Powys is, geographically, the largest county in Wales – with the smallest population. It habitually receives the least extra cash in the annual settlement from the Welsh Assembly.

As a result, it struggles to provide services – partly because private companies that carry out many of those services assume local authorities have money to burn and charge accordingly (I had that from a council officer).

It must be true, the reasoning runs, because just look at the salaries paid to the council’s chief officers.

And salaries paid to chief officers are high because if they weren’t on a par with richer councils, nobody would even offer to do the job.

So everyone with a chance to demand more is on the take – and who can blame them in these uncertain times?

And public services suffer.

But the only reason we pay our taxes – council tax, income tax, and any other tax that feeds into local authority budgets – is to receive public services.

But (again) we can’t withhold our tax money on the grounds that these services are being withheld from us, because that is a crime and we would be fined at the very least (thereby giving more money into the pot).

Whatever happens, we lose. And this will continue as long as public servants are paid £55 for doing nothing at all.

Incoming Powys chief executive Dr Caroline Turner, has been given a cash boost worth more than £25,000 by Powys councillors.

This will be on top of her salary of £138,000 a year.

At the Full PCC meeting on Thursday, January 24, councillors had to appoint Dr Turner to … statutory roles [including] election returning officer.

There are five sets of fees, some of which are set by external bodies:

Parliamentary elections fees which are set at Westminster – £2,685 for Brecon and Radnorshire and £2,500 for Montgomeryshire.

Welsh Assembly election fees of £4,730 for Brecon and Radnorshire and for Montgomeryshire it’s £4,730.

Elections for Police and Crime Commissioner (set by the Police and Crime Commissioner Board) – £2,870 for Brecon and Radnorshire and £2,574 for Montgomeryshire.

European Elections (which may not happen again) – £5,952.

Local Government elections £110 per contested ward and £55 per uncontested ward.

Source: POWYS: New Chief Executive gets over 25k payment boost | County Times

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Here’s why people in the UK have really strange ideas about wealth

Laura Pidcock MP.

Isn’t it odd that people think if you’re wealthy, you can’t sympathise with or support people who aren’t as fortunate?

Labour MP Laura Pidcock had a taste of that attitude, as the record on Twitter showed:

The critic was a chap called Bryon Backhouse who appears to have deleted his Twitter history/account and started again after this embarrassing incident.

His comment, “Nice boots Laura, but at £380 a pair my wife will have to make do with slippers from M&S,” indicates a suggestion that her socialism is fake – that she’s in Parliament for the large MP salary that allows her to afford a pair of pricey boots.

Ms Pidcock swiftly put him straight: “LOL they were about £40”.

You have to laugh yourself, don’t you?

And John Scratcher’s response, “He’s probably trying the old fallacy that someone on £75k isn’t allowed to care about poor people,” seems right on the button.

Of course it isn’t true.

The measure of a citizen in today’s United Kingdom isn’t the amount they earn; it’s whether they are willing to pay their way – to give up a proportionate amount of their income for the state to use, investing in the economy or providing social security.

Sadly, too many Conservatives seem determined to avoid this responsibility – hiding their wealth in tax havens or pursuing other ways of avoiding paying their fair share.

If anybody thinks it is a coincidence that the UK is due to leave the European Union a matter of days before new EU laws come into force, forbidding tax avoidance, they need to think again.

So, for me, a person who takes home a huge amount of money is entitled to every penny – apart from the amount that is levied by the state.

As that person has benefited from economic conditions created by the state, it seems only right that they should contribute as well.

It seems clear that Ms Pidcock does indeed contribute in that way. I wonder if her critic does?

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Here’s how much NHS pay has fallen due to the Conservative public sector pay cap


For information. This is highly topical in the light of recent comments by Tory MP Eddie Hughes.

The damage inflicted on the living standards of NHS staff by the Government’s pay freezes and caps has been underlined by new figures, which show the average health worker enduring a real terms cut of almost £2,000 over the past seven years.

The figure, highlighted by the GMB union, will intensify the pressure on the Government to lift the 1 per cent public sector pay cap, for all public sector workers.

The median average salary of all NHS staff in June 2017 was £31,526 a year, according to data from the health service released on Thursday.

That compares with a like-for-like figure of £29,132 in August 2010.

Consumer price inflation has risen by 15 per cent over that period, translating into a real terms cut for these workers of £1,985 a year.

Yet the average conceals that some NHS workers have suffered still bigger real terms reductions in pay.

The pay of ambulance staff is down £5,286 in real terms and for midwives it is £3,504 lower.

Read more: Public sector pay cap: NHS staff real income cut by almost £2,000 over seven years of wage squeeze


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Tory MPs should consider their own privileged position before lecturing others on how lucky they are

Nurses were angered at Tory MP Eddie Hughes’ suggestion they have a good deal compared to other workers [Image: Getty]


Eddie Hughes has demonstrated that he is living proof of the inverse ration between the amount of intelligence a Conservative MP has and the amount of time they spend flapping their lips in public.

Before he criticised nurses, he should have considered the fact that, as a Tory MP, he is also paid more than hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters – and much more than nurses.

And all he does for a living is flap his lips!

He should also have considered that, as an MP, he is ultimately responsible for deciding the amount that nurses are paid. Sure, a statutory organisation is said to set the figure, but it can only do this within limits set by MPs – people like Mr Hughes.

And he should have considered the fact that hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters, if they are self-employed, determine their own rate of pay according to the state of their business’s finances. As an MP, he can benefit from inflation-busting pay rises, no matter how badly his party has mismanaged the country, because he can always rely on nurses, hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters to pay their taxes.

And, as far as This Writer can tell, hairdressers, plumbers and carpenters haven’t complained about nurses’ pay.

If he had considered these elements, perhaps Mr Hughes would have said something different or – preferably – held his tongue.

But then, that’s the problem with Tory MPs like Mr Hughes: No consideration.

Nurses have been told by a Tory MP they get paid more than “hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters”.

Eddie Hughes MP has sparked anger by claiming junior nurses already have a good deal compared to other workers.

His intervention during a Parliamentary debate has caused anger among campaigners calling for a lifting of the 1% below- inflation pay cap which has left nurses £3,000 worse off.

The NHS faces an unprecedented staffing crisis with 40,000 nurse jobs unfilled.

Mr Hughes, Conservative MP for Walsall North, said: “Many workers in my constituency are employed as hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters, and what pay rise do they get?”

Read more: Tory MP sparks fury after claiming junior nurses are paid more than “hairdressers, plumbers or carpenters”


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Bosses have already made more money this year than you will by the end of December

A protester in a fat cat suit stands outside RBS in London in 2012 [Image: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP].

This is another perennial story, like the annual protest against rail fare increases.

As far as This Writer can tell, it is taking company executives less time to reach the national average every year – and let’s not forget that, if you take the top 10 per cent of salaries out of that average, you get an average of round £12-13,000, which is much closer to what most people are likely to get.

So company executives probably made (we can’t say “earned”) more than you and me by lunchtime on January 3, bearing in mind that January 1 was a bank holiday (and a Sunday).

We know that executive pay is not linked to company performance – bosses have awarded themselves 30 per cent rises while at firms whose profits have increased by only one per cent or thereabouts.

One argument is that they reward themselves according to their company’s share price on the stock market – but of course they never take an equivalent pay cut when those prices fall.

And employees never see such extravagant increases – they only do the work.

Theresa May promised to “reform capitalism” with an idea to bring employees onto the remuneration committees of these big firms – but backed down after she became prime minister; she didn’t need to keep her promises now that she had what she wanted.

So the outlook for the rest of us is bleak while the so-called “fat cats” have all the fun.

That’s our medicine for the sickness a quarter of us suffered at the ballot box in May 2015: You vote Conservative, you get shafted.

The UK’s top bosses will have made more money by lunchtime on Wednesday than the typical UK worker will earn all year, according to an analysis that exposes the gulf between executives and the rest of the workforce.

On “Fat Cat Wednesday” campaigners say that public anger with elites will intensify unless action is taken to tackle excess among executives at a time when pressures on household budgets are rising.

The High Pay Centre calculated that the average FTSE 100 boss now earns more than £1,000 an hour, meaning they will pass the UK average salary of £28,200 by around midday on Wednesday. The thinktank said that after enjoying rapid earnings growth in recent years, leading bosses now typically earn 129 times more than their employees.

Source: UK bosses make more in two and a half days than workers earn all year | Money | The Guardian

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Would MPs defend their pay rise if we all demanded the same working rights?

Median average earnings for the bottom 90 per cent of people in the UK amount to around 12,000 or £13,000, so the pay rise over the last six years – for the lowest-earning MPs – is around three-quarters of that.

This year’s rise is equivalent to one-third of my Carer’s Allowance. I know I’m allowed to earn money on top of that – but then, so are they.

And this is just the base rate for MPs. Those with special responsibilities – the Speaker and his assistants, committee chairs, cabinet and shadow cabinet members – all earn more. Some of them earn much, much more.

We can only come to one conclusion:

These people are ripping us off. And IPSA has to go.

But, you know what? Perhaps we should play them at their own game.

Clearly, they would like us to believe that they are held to very high standards.

So let us demand equality – that those standards are applied equally to everybody. The same rules on working hours. The same workers’ rights. The same rules on expenses claims…

Would that work?

MPs are expected to receive a 1.4% pay rise worth more than £1,000 in April next year, taking their salaries to £76,011.

Increases are based on the annual change in average weekly earnings across the public sector, which the Office for National Statistics calculated on Thursday at 1.4%.

The increase amount will be confirmed in February but is unlikely to change much by then, sources said. It follows a 1.3% rise this year, which followed a big increase from £67,000 to £74,000.

The rise is much greater than that received by most public sector workers, who have been subject to austerity restrictions since 2010.

Responsibility for setting MPs’ pay was handed to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) in an effort to defuse controversy. The watchdog recommended a significant increase despite the coalition government cutting spending and imposing austerity on the public sector.

Source: MPs expected to receive pay rise of more than £1,000 | Money | The Guardian

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How many MPs really stuck to their pay rise charity pledge?

[Image: The Sun (and I never thought I’d be typing that into a Vox Political caption!)]

Pro-SNP commenters to Vox Political have queried the claim that only 26 out of the UK’s 650 MPs have donated their £7,000 pay rise to charity, after 69 promised to do so.

They have claimed that all 56 SNP MPs have handed over the difference between MPs’ pay before the pay rise and the current rate to charity.

So let’s try to straighten the record. The report in The Sun states the following:

According to campaign website Donate My Pay Rise, 20 Tories, 30 Labour members, three Lib Dems, 15 from the SNP and one Green had all pledged to help good causes.

But only 25 confirmed to us they had donated or were currently preparing to do so.

However, one MP who had not made the pledge, confirmed he had donated his pay rise.

Dozens on both sides of the House refused to say if they had given it away or pocketed it themselves.

Not a single SNP MP who publicly pledged to donate the money to worthy local causes responded to questions from The Sun.

Source: MPs go back on pay rise charity pledge | The Sun |News|Politics

Now, it’s possible that the SNP’s Westminster contingent have refused to discuss the matter with The Sun on principle, as it is a right-wing, Tory-loving excuse for a newspaper that wasn’t worth wrapping around your chips when you were still allowed to do that.

But the fact that only 15 SNP MPs appear to have made the pledge, according to the campaigning site Donate My Pay Rise, plays very poorly for the Party.

News reports do state that the Party’s leadership ordered SNP MPs to donate the pay increase to charity. But Donate My Pay Rise, which quotes Angus Robertson from the article to which I’ve linked, only attributes the comment to him personally and not the Parliamentary Party as a whole. It is, in fairness, a comment that could be interpreted either way.

For the sake of fairness, This Blog will have to side with the evidence available. For now, that means The Sun and Donate My Pay Rise.

However:

If all 56 SNP MPs really have passed this money on to charity, perhaps the best way to demonstrate this is to contact Donate My Pay Rise, explain that Mr Robertson’s comment extended to the entire Parliamentary Party, and provide proof that the money has indeed been passed to charity at some point prior to the publication of the Sun article on October 31.

That seems the most reasonable solution to this question.

However (again): Even with all 56 SNP MPs contributing their shares of the pay rise to charity, that makes a total of just 81 MPs contributing out of 650, leaving a “silent majority” (Tory Tobias Ellwood’s words, not mine) of 569 pocketing the cash.

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Threat to automatic union fee payments is petulant obstruction

Conservative ministers know that the automatic payment of trade union subscriptions from salaries is achieved by a simple keystroke these days – it is absolutely no burden on employers.

Their plan to stop public sector workers from paying in this manner should therefore be seen as what it is – a sulky, ill-tempered attack on the workforce for daring to belong to a workers’ representative organisation.

The process is not outdated – it’s bang-up-to-date.

Ending it would not give workers more control – they have control now, simply by saying that they are union members and they want their subscriptions taken from their salaries.

Ending it would increase the burden on workers’ already-limited personal time – they would have to go through the time-consuming process of creating direct debits from their bank accounts.

This is a waste of time for everybody involved.

The purpose is obvious – reduce union funding, making it more difficult for them to take industrial action, as the Conservative Government’s unnecessary attack on workers intensifies over the next few years.

The philosophy is that workers are lazy, and won’t be bothered to create the direct debits necessary to keep the funds flowing to the unions.

It seems unlikely that the plan will be hard-fought in Parliament. Let’s face it, New Labour was hardly union-friendly, despite receiving a great deal of funding from them.

If this proposal is enacted, then it will be up to the unions to make sure members can make the change quickly and easily – most probably by drawing up the direct debit agreement for them, so all they have to do is check it, sign and deliver it.

Clever union leaders will also use this as a springboard for a membership drive, pointing out that it can only be a prelude to further attacks on the UK’s workforce.

Are you going to fight this erosion of your rights – or are you just going to bend over for the Conservatives and let them do whatever they want to you?

Plans to stop public sector workers automatically paying subscriptions to trade unions through their salaries have been unveiled by the government.

Ministers say the process is “outdated” and ending it would give workers more control and save more than £6m a year by cutting employers’ administration.

But unions could lose funds and say it is a “vindictive political attack” that will “poison industrial relations”.

It follows plans for reforms of union laws, including tighter strike rules.

Civil servants, teachers and nurses are among the union members who will have to arrange for the fees to be collected from their bank accounts by direct debit, under the proposals to update legislation in the Trade Union Bill.

 The government says the so-called check-off system of taking union dues through wages was introduced at a time when many workers did not have bank accounts.

It said it was now a “taxpayer-funded administrative burden” on employers.

Source: Automatic union fee payments ‘to end in public sector’ – BBC News

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