Tuesday 10 January 2017

The Maximum Wage and The Sharing Society

The first politician to propose a salary cap was David Cameron. But he never did anything about it, while Theresa May shows no sign of doing anything about pay disparity within companies. Time, then, for specific proposals from Jeremy Corbyn. Nothing to be permitted to pay anyone more than 10 times what it paid anyone else, with the entire public sector functioning as a single entity. And no one in the public sector or its contractors to be paid more than the Prime Minister.

More broadly, all that Labour has to do is demand that Mrs May deliver on her own promises or very broad hints. Those include workers’ and consumers’ representation in corporate governance, and shareholders’ control over executive pay. An investment-based Industrial Strategy and infrastructure programme, itself including greatly increased housebuilding. Action against tax avoidance, with a ban on public contracts for tax-avoiding companies. A cap on energy prices. Banning or greatly restricting foreign takeovers.

And an inquiry into Orgreave, which the Government has effectively conceded by producing no better reason not to hold it than the fact that it was a long time ago and the pure assertion that it could not happen today. Then, of course, there is the reversal of the previous cuts to mental health provision, and the considerable expansion of the service beyond that. Plus the retention of the four hour A&E target, since at the very least neither Mrs May nor Jeremy Hunt ever said that they were going to abandon it.

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