England, Wales and Scotland section of International Socialist Alternative

This month in capitalism: Bosses pay surpasses average salary

The High Pay Centre recently released a report on CEO versus worker pay for 2023. For median pay, a CEO of a FTSE 100 (the 100 companies with the highest shares on the London Stock Exchange) earned 80 times more than the median worker, while in comparison to the lowest-paid quarter, they earned 118 times more.

By Jack Blacklaws, Socialist Alternative Shrewsbury

If put in terms of hourly wages, the bosses earn an average of £1,170 per hour while the average worker earns £17.48. One way to illustrate this disparity is that already by 1pm on 4 January, the pay of the FTSE 100 bosses will have overtaken the annual median wage for full-time workers.

These numbers provide a clue as to why we are seeing an ever-widening gap in wealth and living standards between workers and bosses, which is then compounded by the additional sources of income you will generally have as a member of the ruling elite – from bonuses, investments and so on.

Meanwhile, the number of households failing to pay their energy bills rose by 39% with no easing in sight, food bank usage continues to rise along with prices, schools close due to their crumbling buildings, local councils go bankrupt and the NHS continues to struggle. Both the Tories and Labour say there is simply no money to invest in public services, but it seems that at the top of the corporate ladder, there is plenty of money to go around! The money to give workers a real living wage is there, to invest in the NHS, to revitalise our infrastructure, it is all there in the pockets of CEOs and bankers, but they will not give it up.

We must take the wealth from the super rich and replace the capitalist system that concentrated their wealth in the first place. Under socialism, the economy would be controlled by the workers, with profits reinvested in the society in which we all live, instead of in the bank accounts of bosses, landlords and board members. We’ve seen the crisis that an economy run by capitalists faces again and again. No more bailouts, no more mismanagement, no more greed! It’s time to put the economy in the hands of those whose labour it relies on: the workers!

Socialist Alternative says:

  • Take the wealth off the 1%! Nationalise the major banks and the top 100 monopolies that control around 80% of our economy, under democratic workers’ control and management.
  • Secure jobs paid a real living wage – scrap zero-hour contracts! For a £15-an-hour minimum wage now, and further increases at least in line with inflation. For fully paid sick leave, pensions and holiday pay for all
  • For the right to organise. Fight plans for new, even more draconian, anti-trade union legislation. Defend and restore collective bargaining
  • For a united struggle for benefits that reflect the real cost of living. Scrap benefit sanctions. For job creation and the right to work for all who can

 

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