So, how much is enough when it comes to top executive’s pay? (‘earn’ doesn’t seem to come into it). Today’s news (15/04/2016) includes a story with the headline:
FATCAT BONUSES… ENOUGH’S ENOUGH!
The story concerns a shareholder’s revolt at oil giant BP’s plans to pay their Chief Executive a £14 million package, set against a background of a declining share price, £4.5 billion in losses and 7,000 jobs cut. It raises the questions, how much should a senior executive earn, and should it reflect company performance? A shareholder asked if it was ‘morally right’ to hand him huge bonuses to boost his £1.3 million wages.
59% of shareholders voted against the proposed bonuses for their big cheese CEO, with another shareholder saying, “While much of the population must accept austerity, it is not right to increase director’s remuneration.” Clearly he didn’t get the memo from Tory HQ. Shareholders are pissed-off because their dividend was less than expected, so their ire is more to do with, Surely we should ALL share the pain?
The Swiss started the debate on capping senior executive pay by putting a proposal to their citizens to limit the earnings of top executives to 12 times the wages of their lowest paid employee. Despite this 1:12 earnings ratio being rejected in a 2013 referendum, it has continued to fuel debate in Europe and North America on the thorny question, How much is enough?
The wealthy elite remain fireproof, despite recent offshore banking probes, showing how untouchable they are and unlikely to ever pay their fair share of tax on earnings. In the UK our Conservative Government shows no signs of easing up on their plans to protect them at all costs whilst bashing the poorest and most vulnerable members of society with their malicious austerity programme. To suggest a cap on earnings ‘in the interests of society’ is abhorrent in our age of capitalist greed and insane wealth hoarding.
I’ll leave you with the words of comedian Frankie Boyle, commenting on the offshore savings probe: “The Panama Papers show that rich people aren’t even rational: they send their money on holiday to the Caymans, and live in perpetual rain in Britain.” Surely they can afford to do it the other way around? Oh yes, but they would have to declare their pile to the tax man and contribute to the running of the country… We can’t have that!