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We must deal with growing wage gap issue
3:27pm Tuesday 19th June 2012 in Read
SIR – Last week we learned that despite the difficult economic situation, wages at the top continue to rise at the same time that those of ordinary workers remain virtually stagnant.
The Government clearly needs to get to grips with the growing wage gap.
Unless it does so, its economic policy is likely to fail, and we run the risk of the kind of unrest already seen in Greece.
But the high pay issue is not confined to the private sector, and neither our Ms [Trish] Haines [Worcestershire County Council chief executive] nor anyone else holding her post is worth her salary.
That job is not demanding and the level of difficulty and responsibility involved just does not merit a particulularly high wage.
Local government managers do not have to take split-second, important decisions on their own.
They do not face the pressures, even dangers, encountered by emergency service and hospital staff.
Troops in Afghanistan face danger and hardship on a daily basis. Officers over there risk their own lives and take critical decisions for which they are accountable.
Yet most are paid considerably less than management in County Hall.
Crucially, her wages, like those of her senior management colleagues, are taken out of our pockets at a time when most of us are seeing our salaries and buying power squeezed.
And they are an insult to lower paid local government workers, many of whom are also facing hard times and possible redundancy.
If Ms Haines and her fellow local government managers are as talented as their salaries would suggest, surely it is almost criminal to deprive the private sector of their input.
I would suggest the immediate imposition of a salary cap, set at half Ms Haines’s current salary.
Make everyone on over that level redundant, and let them re-apply for the posts.
It would be a great way of saving money, and reestablishing fairness.