Friday, October 28, 2011

We're all in it together - director's pay rose 50% last year

The UK government has repeatedly told the British public that "we're all in it together" as austerity measures are brought in under the auspices of addressing UK debt. The government says that big cuts are necessary in order to retain confidence in our market and bring down debts for longterm financial health. The critics say that the cuts are too much and too fast: the aim isn't to balance the books, but line pockets of the few instead of the many in an ideological attack on 'the state'.

Thus far, the scorecard is roughly 1-2. While the government has still managed to convince the public that cuts are necessary, the market hasn't been acting any more favourably and for all intents and purposes can be described as limping along at best with renewed fears of a double dip recession on the near horizon.

So a draw? Hardly. The public may agree on need for reigning in public spending, but they disagree on how cuts have been imposed. More fuel for the fire today as we learn that the pay of directors shot up 50% last year. While the great majority are enduring real reductions in working and pay conditions, the bosses are back to their inflation busting income rises.

I will expect the government to argue that this shows there is 'life in the economy' and that this is a sign of 'recovery', but it will be hard to make the case for public benefit unless they can link these rises in pay with improved employment figures. For the moment, the latter is elusive - but a connection the government will strive to make if it is to continue this narrative that "we're all in it together" as a possible double dip recession approaches. Time will tell.

No comments: