Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2586

Fat Cat Thursday is an indictment of a system that enriches a few at our expense

This article is over 6 years, 5 months old
Issue 2586
Tim Sanders on feckless fat cats
Tim Sanders on feckless fat cats (Pic: Tim Sanders)

Thursday 4 January 2018 was Fat Cat Thursday. The amount already grabbed this year by the average top executives passed the median annual salary of £28,758 for workers.

A chief executive can expect an average of £4.5 million a year.

The massive pay gap is an indictment of the system we live in that allows a tiny handful to get outrageously rich at our expense.

Tim Roache, general secretary of the GMB union, said, “Does anyone really think these fat cats deserve 100 times more than the hardworking people who prop up their business empires?

“Workers who have to scrimp and save to feed their families and put a roof over their head, and like most of Britain’s working population will now be feeling the pinch after the festive period.”

And just a few days ago the TUC union federation said workers in Britain are set to suffer the biggest pay cuts of the world’s 32 most advanced economies in 2018.

The TUC analysis puts Hungary at the top of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development pay growth league, with an expected 4.9 percent rise. Greece is 27th with a rise of 0.2 percent.

Yet wages for workers in Britain are expected to fall by another 0.7 percent. Wages are set to remain below 2008 levels and they aren’t forecast to recover until 2025.


Rebecca Long Bailey, Labour’s shadow business secretary, said, “It’s a shocking sign of just how out of control inequality has grown that top CEOs have already been paid in three days what most people earn in an entire year.

“The next Labour government will tackle rampant pay inequality with a real living wage of at least £10 per hour, with an excessive pay levy and by rolling out maximum pay ratios of 20:1 in the public sector and in companies bidding for public contracts.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said, “Workers are suffering the longest pay squeeze since Napoleonic times, but fat cat bosses are still getting salaries that look like telephone numbers.”

But the trouble is such criticisms don’t worry bosses at all. They just keep taking the money.

It’s good that the TUC has called a protest on 12 May around the slogan, “A new deal for working people”.

However, reversing the pay cuts will mean calling and organising more than one protest and, crucially, the strikes that have the power to beat the bosses.

The TUC march will take place on Saturday 12 May

Sign up for our daily email update ‘Breakfast in Red’

Latest News

Make a donation to Socialist Worker

Help fund the resistance