Compass launch campaign for a High Pay Commission
100 leading progressive figures from across the centre-left, civil society and from all corners of the UK, have today called on the government to establish a High Pay Commission to curb excessive pay. We urge you to also back the campaign.
The statement co-ordinated by Compass has support from Brendan Barber (General Secretary, TUC), Jon Cruddas (Labour MP for Dagenham) and Vince Cable (Lib Dem Shadow Chancellor).
They have joined 97 others who are today calling on the Government to establish a High Pay Commission to review top pay and look at measures to ensure excessive pay can't damage the economy again.
Out of control rewards fuelled excessive risk taking that brought down the whole economy. The greed of those at the top impacted directly on those at the bottom. With unemployment figures the highest for 13 years, now is the time to act.
The unjust rewards of a few hundred "masters of the universe" exacerbated the risks we were all exposed to many times over. A High Pay Commission is needed to deliver a fairer, more stable and sustainable economy for the future.
Brendan Barber TUC General Secretary said: "The growing gap between executive and employee pay has a damaging impact on staff engagement and has created a new class of super-rich that float free from society. The government can no longer afford to ignore this. A High Pay Commission that recognises the problem and looks to formulate concrete solutions would be a welcome initiative".
Vince Cable MP Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor said: "I support the Compass campaign. There is no justification for massive pay and bonus awards in financial institutions, the most important of which are guaranteed or owned or have been rescued by the tax payer. Transparency and tax are important but a High Pay Commission looking at both equity and economic aspects is a welcome suggestion too. "
Jon Cruddas MP said: "Our response to an era-defining economic crisis often appears timid, informed by the strange notion that we will soon return to normal. It will not and we have to adapt to radically different conditions. The Labour Party needs to reaffirm itself as the Party of the many, not the few. It can start by supporting this initiative for a High Pay Commission."
Neal Lawson Chair of Compass said: "It's time the government took action on excessive pay, it's absolutely right that we now reign in the bonus bandits that created the economic crisis and ensure a fair, just and sustainable economy. Compass will be producing new evidence on the effect of out of control pay and will be campaigning to ensure that all three parties take on the bonus bandits."
Prof Ruth Lister CBE said: "The growing gap between high earners and the rest of society is politically, socially and economically damaging. It erodes the bonds of common citizenship; undermines the principles of equal opportunity and the recognition of equal worth; and has fuelled the credit crunch. Inequality must be addressed at the top as well as the bottom."
The statement reads:
"The crisis we find ourselves in is one significantly caused by greed. The salaries of those at the top raced away while the median wage stagnated. Inequality grew, and an economic crisis ensued. The unjust rewards of a few hundred 'masters of the universe' exacerbated the risks we were all exposed to many times over. Banking and executive remuneration packages have reached excessive levels. We believe now is the time for government to take decisive action.
The facts speak loud and clear: an employee working a 40 hour week earning the minimum wage would have to work for around 226 years to receive the same remuneration as a FTSE 100 CEO does in just one year.
Remuneration and performance pay cycles are too short; rewards for failure are too great, to the detriment of the long term future of these companies and the wider economy. The government must now take decisive action on excessive pay at the top when it has had such a damaging and corrosive effect on the real economy and wider society.
In 1997 a ‘Low Pay Commission' was set up to advise on the implementation of the Minimum Wage - a policy which has ensured greater fairness and economic stability. We need a 'High Pay Commission' to launch a wide-ranging review of pay at the top. It should consider proposals to restrict excessive remuneration such as maximum wage ratios and bonus taxation to provide the just society and sustainable economy we all want.
Furthermore, we also need the government to take the moral lead by setting reasonable pay structures within our public bodies, for public procurement contracts and last but not least - within our publicly owned banks.
We therefore urge the government to create a High Pay Commission to come up with concrete solutions and instigate the real change that will ensure a more sustainable, equal and secure economic future for all."
Note to Editors:
1) FOR MORE INFORMATION OR COMMENT PLEASE CALL GAVIN HAYES ON 07900 195591 OR JOE COX ON 07796 884487
2) STATEMENT AND FULL LIST OF SIGNATORIES CAN ALSO BE FOUND AT: http://www.compassonline.org.uk/campaigns/
3) COMPASS IS THE CENTRE-LEFT PRESSURE GROUP WITH OVER 4000 MEMBERS, MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: www.compassonline.org.uk
Add your name to the statement
Want to write an article like this? If you’re a Compass member you can submit your own articles and start your own debates on the Compass debates member’s section, an autonomous space for our members to initiate debate and discuss ideas.
To keep updated on the latest Compass news, please join our mailing list.