If the UK's minimum wage had risen with its executive pay, the lowest paid jobs in the country would be worth £26K/year

Britain is one of the most unequal countries in the world, thanks to the Tory-in-sheep's-clothing policies of Tony Blair, and the naked banker-coddling and brutal austerity of the real Tories who followed on from Blair.

The UK doesn't just lead the pack in wheezes to keep wages low, like classing employees as "contractors," with no set schedules and wages that can go negative once depreciation on the gear they supply is factored in; it's also a leader in dodges that let the richest people in the country duck taxation (when I moved to the UK, a banker from Barclay's called on me to explain that I could be a "non-dom" and avoid all tax by pretending I lived in the Channel Islands).

The UK national minimum wage was inaugurated 20 years ago and today it guarantees £14,664/year for workers who are still classed as waged employees. But if it had kept pace with the rocketing compensation taken home by the country's executive class, these workers would be taking home £26,000 year.

The average UK CEO is now earning 94X more than the workers they boss.

Every year the High Pay Centre highlights “fat cat day” when the average FTSE 100 chief executive will have already been paid the same as the average UK worker earns in a whole year. In 2018 the day falls on 4 January.

Stefan Stern, director of the High Pay Centre, said: “It’s striking that the national minimum wage came in just as executive pay really started to spiral up and out of control. The pay gap has grown ever since, with terrible consequences. There are two ways to close this unacceptable and unjustifiable gap: one is to have more restraint at the top, and the other is to have the long overdue pay rise that lower paid workers deserve. We need rapid progress at both ends of the income scale.”

Minimum wage would be £26,000 if rate matched executive pay rises, GMB finds [Jamie Doward/The Guardian]

(Image: Bixentro, CC-BY)

(via Naked Capitalism)