Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/722/14688
Them & Us
Top pay still on the rise
Yet another survey has shown that executive pay continues to soar. In 25% of FTSE 100 companies, executive pay has gone up by more than 41% in the last year. The highest paid chief executive is Barclay's Bob Diamond who got £20.9 million last year.
Despite this, business secretary Vince Cable thinks this is a good time to be watering down measures to limit pay. He has decided to scrap plans to force an annual binding vote on chief executive's pay because it would add too much 'bureaucracy'.
Every little helps
Apparently one sector is currently experiencing a surge of business - luxury concierge services. These concierges have to do... whatever they're told. They open doors, they greet friends, they book high-end restaurants, they 'make things happen'.
One company arranged a £250,000 shopping spree including closing a series of designer stores for more privacy for their client. Another regular request is to make clients' wives burst into tears of happiness. The cost? A £5,000 a month retainer plus all other associated costs.
Changing high streets
The number of pawnbrokers, pay day loan lenders and betting shops on our high streets has increased by 25% since 2008. The number of vacant shops has trebled in the same period.
The pawnbroking industry is now worth £500 million a year. Strapped-for-cash people are using jewellery and designer handbags as collateral for loans.
And it seems people of a variety of backgrounds are turning towards this trend - there are now a series of companies aiming at people who are "asset rich but cash poor" allowing them to raise between £1,000 and £1 million using antiques, fine art, luxury wine and even yachts as security. Is this what Osborne means by 'all in this together'?
In The Socialist 13 June 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news