Press Releases

New Economics Foundation welcomes new executive pay plans as vital first step”

New government pay plans are an important first step towards tackling inequality

Today the government announced a package of corporate governance reforms to address workplace inequality and enhance the public’s trust in business. [1]

Responding to the proposals, Annie Quick, Subject Lead for Inequality at the New Economics Foundation said:

Today’s announcement on corporate governance is a vital first step on the path to a better workplace. We cannot act when we don’t have all the facts. That’s why the Government’s measures to force firms to be more transparent about executive pay is so important. It provides the foundation for genuinely empowering workers to hold business to account.

It is easy to claim that the proposals – to force listed firms to publish pay ratios, and to name and shame those companies whose pay regime has angered shareholders – don’t go as far as they need to, and are a disappointing scale-back from earlier announcements.

But let’s not forget how far we have come. Only a few years ago it would have been almost unthinkable for government even to acknowledge that inequality in the workplace requires action. Now there is agreement across the political spectrum that inequality is one of the greatest challenges facing the UK.

The next step for government is to demonstrate they are serious about workplace inequality by taking concrete action. They could start by investing in tax avoidance enforcement, ending the crackdown on unions, and strengthening legislation to ensure sham self-employment doesn’t let employers dodge the minimum wage.

But in the meantime, today’s economy is not working for most people and they are fighting back. We now need to use these new insights into high pay and work together – as employees, customers or shareholders – to hold businesses to account.”

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** Spokespeople available for interview **

Notes to editors

  1. The New Economics Foundation is the UK’s only people-powered think tank. The Foundation works to build a new economy where people really take control. www​.newe​co​nom​ics​.org
  2. All comments in response to the government’s announcement of corporate governance reforms on 29th August 2017.

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