Why aren't we more angry? Why isn't blood running, metaphorically at least, in the streets? Evidence of how the rich prosper while everyone else struggles with inflation, public spending cuts and static wages arrives almost daily. The Institute for Fiscal Studies reports
that last year incomes among the top 1% grew at the fastest rate in a decade. According to the Sunday Times
Rich List, the top 1,000 are £60.2bn better off
this year than in 2010, bringing their collective wealth close to the record pre-recession levels.
Now comes a report this week from the High Pay Commission,
set up by the Labour pressure group Compass. It reveals that FTSE 100 chief executives are on average paid £4.2m annually, or 145 times the median wage - and on current trends will be paid £8m, or 214 times the median, by 2020. In the financial sector, even the CEO can seem modestly rewarded: this year, the top-paid banker at Barclays will get £14m, nearly four times the chief executive's earnings and 1,128 times more than the lowest-paid employee receives.