Labour Market

‘Fat Cat Wednesday’ distracts focus from crucial issues of low pay & cost of living crisis


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IEA comment on the High Pay Centre's analysis of executive pay

Commenting on the High Pay Centre’s analysis of executive pay released today, Kate Andrews, News Editor at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Once again, ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’ has distracted us – getting us to focus on the topic of high pay when the crucial issue is that of low pay and the cost of living crisis. Not only does this gimmick flirt with the radical policy of maximum wages, it also misleads those on lower salaries to believe that cuts to salaries at the top would directly translate to top-ups at the bottom – even the High Pay Centre itself has admitted there is no evidence for this

“In our globalised economy, the role of the CEO has become significantly more important, and attempts by government to intervene in their remuneration often fail to achieve their desired outcome.”

“If ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’ campaigners are genuinely worried about disparities in salaries, they should focus their efforts on closing loopholes in the tax system which benefit high earners and tackle blatant examples of crony capitalism, in which government policies unfairly protect the high salaries of those less deserving. But above all, we must address the cost of living crisis head-on. A cap on high pay is simply a false solution to a real problem faced by a large proportion of the UK work force.”

Notes to editors: 
For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: nchesterfield@iea.org.uk or 0207 799 8909 or 07766 221 268

The Institute of Economic Affairs report on pay regulation And how much do you earn? can be downloaded here

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.



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