Column: CEO pay and tackling inequality

The following appeared as my column in the Barnsley Chronicle on 10th January:

At 5pm on Monday 6th
January top bosses in the UK will have already earned what a typical worker expects to earn in the whole of 2020.

In 2018 the average FTSE 100 chief executive had a salary of £3.46million or £901.30/hour. This is 117 times the average UK annual wage of £29,559.

These figures are shameful.

I doubt I am alone in wondering what these CEOs could possibly be doing to justify this huge pay difference.

For far too long legal loopholes have allowed companies to put profits and the interests of their shareholders ahead of the welfare of the majority of their employees.

As an MP I have presented my own legislation in the House of Commons aimed at stopping the exploitation of underpaid agency workers who had been kept in insecure jobs by unscrupulous bosses.

Workplaces should be fair and equal spaces where everyone’s contribution is valued.

Whilst CEOs have been earning the average UK worker’s salary in 33 hours families across the UK are struggling to make ends meet.

Over the last ten years of Tory Government inequality has widened across the UK.

Low-wage earners have been left to choose between putting food on the table and paying rent as local authority and services budgets have been slashed.

Here in Barnsley our local council’s day-to-day spending has been cut by over 40per cent.

T
his Christmas foodbanks witnessed record breaking numbers of vulnerable people in need of emergency food parcels.

Working families are locked in poverty.

It’s time that the government stepped in to lighten the burden of hardworking families and individuals who are in desperate need of help.

Big corporations need to be held account for their employment and payment practices.

I will continue to campaign to end inequality and give workers legal protections from bosses who prioritise profit over people.