Nov 2011 07

On Saturday, November 5th, Bath TPA supporters gathered to put a rocket under the position of B&NES’ Chief Executive. At a busy Farmers’ Market at Green Park Station, they collected a number of signatures calling for the next Bath council boss to take a pay cut of £50,000 from the current sum of £210,000 (including pension benefits) to £160,000.

Bath TPA supporters (left to right), Matt Showering, Ben Lodge and Tim Newark show the signatures for their petition collected at Bath’s Farmers’ Market.

Many locals, fed up with high wages being spent on senior council officials rather than frontline services, called for an even bigger pay cut.

Ben Lodge collects signature from Bath stallholder.

This demand has had broad support from across the political spectrum in Bath, including a recent letter in the Bath Chronicle from the local Green Party calling for the same council wage cut.

Matt Showering collects signature from Bath stallholder.

It was sparked by the incoming Chief Executive of Islington Borough Council, Lesley Seary, volunteering a pay cut of £50,000 to bring her wage down to £160,000. ‘We are committed to tackling inequality in all its forms,’ she said, ‘and putting money back in the pockets of our residents.’ If it’s good enough for her, why not the next Chief Executive in Bath?

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West grassroots coordinator, collects signature from Bath stallholder.

Vicky Newark collects signature from Bath stallholder.

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West TaxPayers’ Alliance

Tim is Grassroots Coordinator for Bath and the South-West. He is an historian, author and veteran local campaigner.

  • Blarg1987

    I accept this is a step in the right direction but will the TPA also advocate the same thing for CEO’s who’s main source of income is generated from tax payer contracts again reducing money for front line services if not I look forward to your explanation.

  • Anonymous

    This is good street-action, unlike the occupations. If a company pays its bosses too much, it will cease to be competitive and go out of business. By contrast, public sector workers’ pay can just keep on rising and we can only avoid contributing by moving home. Even then, we could just move to another area with a CEO who’s paid sky-high wages.

    • Blarg1987

      although in principle I agree with you, where several companies have near monopolies e.g. BAE systems, local water utilities and the banking sector all show that even with shareholders executive pay still does skyrocket when things are bad for everyone else.

      • Anonymous

        The trick there is to break the near-monopolies. However, even if bosses get big money, they tend to invest or spend it. The problem is poverty, not wealth, and the answer isn’t occupations and class-war but tax-cuts.

        • Blarg1987

          It really depends what taxes you cut and what taxes are raised the trickle down economy has shown not to work that well as over here and america have shown, yes tax cuts do encourage wealth but if they are aimed at the bottom end of society.
          Trouble is that there needs to be a redistribution of wealth from those who are immoral to a more moral society as the cuklture of wealth at any cost has caused to much pverty now that may mean tax increases at the very top, but if used to alleviate poverty at the very bottom and job creation in the form of infastructure and tax breaks for companies to invest in new technologies and job creation in the UK then it will be worth it, but untill that happens and tax loopholes are closed down as well as Goverments not calling corporate bluffs movements like occupl increase in all likelyhood I think the TPA should as mentioned above name and shame CEO’s who benefit from tax payer contracts who use the wealth for personnal gain rather then redistribute in the local economy by paying their workers more or employing more staff.

          • Blarg1987

            sorry meant to say occupy wall street

          • Anonymous

            Regardless of the morality of the rich, markets have raised living standards for millions, not just the wealthy few. Poor people have been able to get rich when before they couldn’t. All tax cuts are good.

          • Orac54aq

            “Redistribution of wealth” has been a problematic notion for a very long time – to the degree that Leftish parties won’t use the phrase any more.

             I notice you it in the context of taking money from the “immoral” to give to the (presumably)  ”moral”. In practice, of course, the moral get strong-armed for a greater contribution, whilst the super-rich immoral move to Switzerland. Do you know that, or not? 

          • Blarg1987

            Its like with all things whenever someone has power they want more power be it rich or poor, but in the grand scheme of things it would be very hard to say there does not need to be a readjustment of more then 30 years of moving to the right to moving back to the centre ground.
            I think all the big economies are playing a game of call the bluff and if the super rich move to switzerland they may get stung badly in the longer term.
            But there has been a report that showed the city in general has over its lifetime been a net loser rather then a net contributer to the overall economy, granted it would be painful to loose that revenue at the present moment in time but to become less reliant on it is at least the only thing I agree woth the coalition goverment on in the form of encouraging manufactuing.

          • Orac54

            I haven’t seen that report, and I must say would struggle to take it seriously. During the Bliar years, banks contributed billions in taxes, which was why Brown left them alone. Big mistake, as we now find.

            Now, of course the “redistribution of wealth” does have a moral angle, in that it’s immoral to redistribute the wealth from those who have earned it to those who haven’t.

          • Blarg1987

            Even if those who have earned their wealth through immoral ways and practictes such as speculating on oil prices which cause the poor and vunerable unable to afford it and possibly die?

            Yes I see your point on banking however the BoE did lend money below market rates as a subsidy which has been estimated to be over 10 billion pounds per year add that to the bailout and other indirect support then I think the amount that has been contributed to the amount it has cost over its life time will be very close to break even if not a lose.

    • Dave

      It is hugely misleading to assert that: “If a company pays its bosses too much, it will cease to be competitive and go out of business. By contrast, public sector workers’ pay can just keep on rising and we can only avoid contributing by moving home.”

      There are plenty of examples of companies who pay huge sums to bosses and clearly do not go out of business as a consequence. It’s the overall cost that’s important, not the pay of individual bosses.

      So, pauldanon’s attempt to rehearse this “private good, public bad” argument is simply wrong.

      • Anonymous

        It’s not so much ‘huge sums’ as ‘too much’. If it’s too much it will make the company go broke, which isn’t in the interests of the bosses or shareholders. As for companies’ ‘overall cost’, if a firm is in business it will not only be supplying its customers with goods that they want at a price they can pay,  but it will also be paying taxes. The only time a company is a burden on the public is when it’s being bailed out. Contrast the public sector where inefficient agencies just keep getting paid.

        • Dave

          Ok, I’m prepared to accept your argument that it’s ‘too much’. But I still say that individuals in the private sector are paid way too much in terms of their individual worth, even though the organisations for which they work may find such sums affordable.

          So, I guess our definitions differ. My ‘too much’ is based on individual worth; yours on affordability.

          Interestingly enough, I also disagree with your analysis that: “if a firm is in business it will not only be supplying its customers with goods that they want at a price they can pay”.

          That’s all very well in a perfect market, but I suggest the reality is very different. 

          • Anonymous

            How, I wonder, would one decide, for each person in each job, how much was too much? How would one then justify it in equity? After all, if a person, boss or board wants to pay someone so much, isn’t it immoral to stop them from doing so? Would one limit charitable donations and personal gifts which some person in authority deemed as too much? And who would decide these matters?

  • Pingback: Editor’s blog: the perils of local government leadership | My Blog

  • Anonymous

    How about this overpaid monopoly backed by force provider takes a pay cut to £30,000 and likes it? These cretinous whelps are worthless. They exist inside a force backed bubble of never ending payments with no guarantor of service provision, efficiency or salary controls. They are wasters and should be removed.

    • Blarg1987

      That in botht he public and private sector just for clarification?