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Local Green MEP slams “shocking” wage disparity in the UK

07 Jan Local Green MEP slams “shocking” wage disparity in the UK

Findings from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the High Pay Centre think tank showed that FTSE 100 chief executives starting work on 2nd January had by 5pm on Monday this week earned more than what most earn in a year.

The data shows that bosses of Britain’s leading firms earned more than £29,559 in the first three working days of the year.

The average FTSE 100 chief was paid £3.46m in 2018, equivalent to £901.30 an hour, while the average full-time annual salary in the UK of £29,559 works out at £14.37 an hour. This means top bosses earned about 117 times their average employee.

Catherine Rowett, the Green Party MEP for the East of England, said:

“The figures revealed today highlight a shocking level of inequality in the UK. No conceivable evaluation of the relative value of the contribution made by the richest individuals could justify them earning so much more than their staff.

“Here across the Eastern Region we see the stark effects of this gross inequality in incomes and life-chances particularly blatantly on show. Furthermore, as the situation gets worse every year, we should surely question not only whether the governments of recent years have been effective in their half-hearted efforts to create a fairer society, but indeed whether they were even trying to do that at all.

“The current government’s fiscal policies are so much to blame for the social and environmental harm that we see in the most deprived areas of our region.

“What makes for true wellbeing in a civilised nation instead is ensuring that the minimum earnings are enough for a good quality of life, while grossly excessive wealth, which is frequently associated with a hugely destructive carbon footprint, is limited.”

Conurbations across the East of England have some of the lowest wages in the UK. According to the Centre for Cities, which analysed wages in the 64 biggest urban areas in the UK in 2018, Southend, Norwich and Peterborough were all amongst the thirteen with the lowest average weekly wages.

The average employee in Southend, for instance, only earned £437.70 per week in 2018 – less than half of what the average CEO of a FTSE 100 company earns an hour today