Inequality in the UK is increasing year on year; a fact highlighted in recent months by releases from Oxfam, the Resolution Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. These reports come as Philip Hammond is rumoured to be announcing a plan to ‘extend austerity’ in next week’s Spring Budget: policies estimated to hit the poorest the hardest.
by Loughlin Hickey & Charles Wookey
Human Value cannot be subordinated to market value
When, as citizens, we make far-reaching decisions, it is all too familiar to see the headlines reporting how the markets have reacted. The risk is that we are being drawn to the markets and financial value to define what is good and bad for us as people. In short the benefit to us as people, the “human value”, is in danger of being subordinated to market value. We need to think carefully about the values system we choose to embrace.
This piece was originally published in the Jericho Chambers Magazine ‘Revolutionary Times’.
Written by Charles Wookey
The banker J P Morgan, it is said, would never lend money to a business where the boss was paid more than 20 times the wages of the lowliest employee. Anything more, Morgan thought, showed that the boss was only in it for himself and the business was therefore a credit risk.
Now, a century after Morgan, executive pay is on a different scale altogether. Last week the High Pay Centre reported that in 2015 the average FTSE 100 CEO was paid £5.5m – nearly 150 times the average employee wage.
This may seem normal for some leading executives as they benchmark against each other – but there is increasing unease among investors, employees, customers and society at large. Resentment is spreading, and shareholder revolt is in the air.
Written by Kate Fowler
Last week’s event, ‘How to create good jobs in low wage sectors’, organised by Oxfam and the Living Wage Foundation, was an insight into the benefits for both employees and employers not only of the living wage, but also of a general improvement in working conditions.