The fatcat diet: a progressive plan for wage fairness

By 24.01.19PublicationsAugust 27th, 2020No Comments

HPC contributes to essay collection on how to achieve greater pay equality, published by the CLASS think tank

Friday 4th January 2019 was Fat Cat Day. In just three working days, the typical FTSE 100 chief executive had made more money than the annual salary of the typical UK full time worker.

Despite public anger at these huge pay packets, little has been done to challenge and reduce these gross inequalities.

To mark the occasion, the CLASS think tank produced an essay collection, suggesting ideas of achieving a fairer balance in pay between those at the top and low and middle income earners.

HPC director Luke Hildyard submitted a chapter arguing for corporate governance reform and stronger trade union rights, alongside contributions from

  • Liam Kennedy of CLASS, setting out the scale of top pay growth in recent years and the lack of economic basis for such disproportionate increases;
  • Richard Murphy, of the Tax Justice Network, examining how the tax system could incentivise companies to introduce fairer pay practices;
  • Sarah Anderson of the Institute of Policy Studies, looking at the introduction of pay ratio disclosures in the US, and how these could be used now they are coming into force in the UK.

The paper and its recommendations represent an important contribution to the ongoing debate about inequality and economic divisions in the UK. HPC’s research and policy programme for 2019 will build on the CLASS paper and look at many of the ideas that it raises in more detail.

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