Pay gap widens: the rich get richer

What the minimum wage did for us ...

Proletarian writers

Proletarian writers

The GMB union, looking at how pay levels have shifted in the 20 years since the introduction of the minimum wage, calculates that if the minimum wage had kept pace with the average pay of FTSE 100 chief executives it would now stand at £12.74 an hour (in contrast to the current £7.50). The average pay of a FTSE 100 CEO is now £4.35m per annum, rising 354 percent from its start point of £1.23m two decades ago. (See Growing gap between bosses and worker, GMB, 3 January 2018)

Those who saluted Blair’s introduction of the minimum wage as ushering in a new era of fairness may reflect on how it has instead given employers a goal to live down to in the accelerating depression of real wages.

Indeed, another survey, this one carried out by the TUC and based on OECD projections for wage growth and inflation, warns that next year Britain will be bottom of the pay league of the world’s advanced economies, with workers seeing a drop in real pay of 0.7 percent. (Falling wages to put Britain at bottom of pay league says TUC by Alistair Osborne, The Times, 29 December 2017)