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Get rid of bonuses, and the whole system – leave the rich nothing

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Issue 2647
Jeff Fairburn, former Persimmon boss, got a £70 million bonus
Jeff Fairburn, former Persimmon boss, got a £75 million bonus

MPs want firms to cut bosses’ bonuses—because they fear the payouts will turn people against capitalism.

The business select committee slammed “shaming” decisions such as the £75 million bonus handed to Jeff Fairburn, boss of housebuilding firm Persimmon, last year.

Labour MP Rachel Reeves chairs the committee. She said such bonuses are “corrosive of trust in business and threaten to undermine public support for the way our economy operates”.

If nothing changes they could “foment hostility” and “undermine support for the current economic model”.

But it’s absolutely right not to support the current economic model—capitalism—because it’s set up to keep the mass of ordinary people down.

Capitalism is based on bosses exploiting workers to make profits. A tiny layer of people grow obscenely wealthy while billions of ordinary people get poorer. Top bosses in Britain now grab an average salary of £4 million.

Their pay rose four times as fast as that of their workers over the past decade. Meanwhile, millions of workers suffered real terms pay cuts.

We should take the money from the rich. But cutting bonuses or making small changes to how firms are run won’t be enough.

We don’t just need a world without bosses’ bonuses—we need a world without bosses.

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