So cruelly misunderstood

One of the more absurd contentions of modern life is that there’s no need to worry about what Johnny Foreigner pays his people. We here in Britain can set wages according to how we here in Britain would like wages to be. Wages here meant in that larger sense of course, including such things as tax rates, pensions, perks and all the rest. If, for example, we desire a more equal society then we can just demand that FTSE 100 bosses get paid less, or pay more tax, or summat, to make us more equal. What goes on over the sleeve is of no matter because that’s just foreigners, right?

As it turns out that’s not quite the case:

Panicking ministers have pushed through a 29 per cent pay rise for the information watchdog, amid fears that Facebook and Google might try and poach her.

The Government has quietly approved the extraordinary salary increase for Elizabeth Denham, which takes her pay to £180,000 – an increase of more than ten times inflation.

The pay rise, which comes into force today, makes her one of the few public officials paid more than the Prime Minister Theresa May, who receives £152,819.

Our word, eh, our word.

You mean there is actually an international market for executive and management talent? That’s we’ve got to have wages which reflect that competition from Johnny Foreigner? Well, doesn’t that just blow a hole in the idea that wages can be set according to purely domestic desires then?

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4 COMMENTS

  1. She might be paid more than the PM in cash terms but once again that doesn’t tell the whole story.

    They don’t include the grace and favour flats over the office, country house, chauffeur driven cars and the almost guarantee of making a small fortune when the eventually step down as PM.

  2. If the former salary were incorrect, in terms of retaining talent, then the ratio of the increase to the year’s inflation level is noise added to boost the narrative that the raise was excessive.

    Likewise the comparison to the PM’s salary. Competition for her job is limited to a few individuals, none foreign, and the concept of “retaining talent” is laughable, nor will talent (at governing) be much of a factor in the eventual selection.

  3. “Panicking ministers have pushed through a 29 per cent pay rise for the information watchdog, amid fears that Facebook and Google might try and poach her.”

    I’d sort of presumed this was our genial host’s pitch at an April Fools joke, but if it’s serious – colour me thoroughly disinterested. Who’s Elizabeth Denham? Information watchdog? Why?