Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker—Two thirds of richest firms won’t pay the living wage

Issue No. 2629

Bosses are raking it in, but workers

Bosses are raking it in, but aren't paying workers the 'real living wage' (Pic: William Warby/Flickr)


Nearly two thirds of top firms fail to pay the “real living wage” while their bosses earn millions a year.

The 61 biggest companies raked in a combined £86.5 billion profit last year. And some bosses banked 173 times more than the average pay of their full time workers.

Top earners include Persimmon house builder boss Jeff Fairburn, paid £47 million last year, and chief executive of business specialist Melrose Simon Peckham, on a £42.7 million package.

The huge pay gap was revealed by the High Pay Centre think tank.

It looked at the top 100 firms on the London Stock Exchange.

The Government’s legal minimum wage is £7.83 an hour for people aged 25 and over. The real living wage is £9. Around a third of FTSE 100 firms are signed up to the Living Wage Foundation, which recommends the higher figure.


Tories give bookies an £800 million win

The Tories broke their promise to take action against fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) by April next year.

The decision to delay the change came after Tory MP Philip Davies went to see culture secretary Jeremy Wright and chancellor Philip Hammond.

Now the crackdown will only come into force next October. That is six months later than originally stated and means about £800 million extra revenue for the bookies.

Davies’ register of interests shows more than £3,000 worth of hospitality tickets to racing events this year.

They include two hospitality tickets to St Leger Doncaster Races in September valued at £140 each, provided by William Hill.

And Davies also got some free tickets from Ladbrokes, Arena Racing and Sky Betting.


Blair takes £1 million to stay in public view

Tony Blair claimed more than £1 million of our cash without submitting a single receipt.

The former prime minister has invoiced the Cabinet Office for an allowance worth up to £115,000 a year to help pay for stuff after leaving government.

Since he stood down as prime minister in June 2007, he has claimed £1,077,888 from public funds.

The allowance, called the public duty cost allowance, provides financial support for former prime ministers who remain active in public life.

A tribunal was told on 22 October that the offices of John Major, David Cameron and Gordon Brown had provided supporting evidence for their claims.

But Blair’s office provided only documents for inspection, which means that they cannot be obtained under Freedom of Information laws.


  • Thames Valley Police retweeted “a joke” that Labour MP Diane Abbott had been “caught up in a stop and search drama” looking for her house keys, and had then forgotten where she lives.

Thames Valley Police said it had contacted Abbott to “apologise unreservedly”.

  • Love the police? Want to advertise the fact to the rest of the world? Why not snap up some of the new Metropolitan Police Service merchandise?

The Met is going to sell branded toys, homeware, stationery and clothes to raise money. It hopes to “generate significant income to reinvest in frontline services”.


No charges for ex-police chief

Former South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Shaun Wright will not face any charges over an allegation he lied to MPs about his knowledge of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it has decided not make a referral to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The inquiry followed allegations Wright had committed perjury when he gave evidence to parliament.

Wright eventually resigned from his PCC position. He had previously been the head of children’s services in Rotherham.

Some 33 police officers remain on notice that they are under investigation by IOPC.

Anti-gay Ukipper

A Ukip councillor has been ordered to step down from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime panel after making homophobic comments.

Brian Cutts made the comments at a Rotherham Council committee meeting in March. He asked, “Why are we allowing lesbians and gay men to foster children?”

He added that he knew “right from wrong” and “knew which side of the road to drive on and which way to go straight”.

A panel last week ruled the comments were homophobic and brought the authority into disrepute. Cutts said he stood over his views.

Child care cash shortfall

A £410 million increase to children’s services is only half what councils need. Chancellor Philip Hammond announced £650 million for social care in his budget, with two thirds effectively earmarked for children.

But figures from the department of made up statistics—or Office for Budget Responsibility— show local authorities were short by £800 million for child social care last year.

Government funding to councils has been slashed by almost 50 percent since 2010.


The Things They Say

‘I do feel some small shred of sympathy’

Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine on disgraced billionaire Philip Green

‘Green’s chief error was employing too many snowflakes’

Vine continues

‘Incredibly brave man’

Ukip leader Gerard Batten on Nazi Tommy Robinson

‘He’s not a criminal. He may have criminal convictions, that’s not to say he is guilty’

Batten continues

‘Totally unrepentant’

Batten on his support for Robinson

‘Racist, sexist, homophobic or a refreshing break from political correctness?’

Headline tweeted by the BBC on the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil

‘Black people are too stupid to vote for me’

US President Donald Trump


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 6 Nov 2018, 13:03 GMT
Issue No. 2629
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