Class division. Doesn’t exist. Take a look at these two stories, both involving the Lib Dems, one nationally, one in Birmingham, supposedly the blueprint for the Con Dem war on the people. Cleggy has done another u-turn and again the party is squirming, very quietly so as not to attract attention, but it appears some may have a conscience. Meanwhile back here in Brum Paul Dale in the Post has uncovered yet more scandalous bonus payments which allow a refuse collector to earn £45,000 a year!
I suspect very few will pick up anything like this, but I don’t quite get the point. It is an accepted norm still that people who work with their hands can expect a small return compared to the 6 figures that those with control of finances award themselves. Cllr Martin Mullaney who sits on Birmingham City Council is a Liberal Democrat. Well I thought so, but you would never have guessed given the scathing remarks he has made about the ability of the council’s work force to earn a decent living. Much of this has now been stopped. Today we are protesting in Birmingham that the refuse collector’s basic wage has been slashed by £4,000.
Bringing the wages of women and men into line has been a vexed question for a long time, but single status was introduced because of the unfair way that pay differed because of your gender. When I had some dealing with this as a councillor a snag was hit when it was found that with back pay owed bringing parity to women would bankrupt councils. I never hit on the idea of lowering already low paid men down in line with the scandalously low pay many women received as cleaners, working in kitchens. or as carers. It has taken the Con Dems to think of that. It is quite familiar and expected Tory thinking, but if you voted Lib Dem did it ever occur to you that they would fall in line. Cllr Mullaney was saying the other day how the scab labour that the council found money to pay for clearing the streets of black bags were better than the councils’ work force.
As chair of the now defunct Contact Services Committee I had regular monthly meetings with the refuse collectors who were as loyal to Birmingham City Council as anyone could wish. At every meeting they were anxious to hear that targets were being met, sickness rates were kept as low as possible and so on. And this is the thanks they get. Cllr Mullaney hide your head in shame. Are you still a Lib Dem? I would never have believed it.
Just in case you felt envious of top dustmen at £45,000, this is what the top bankers are likely to get on top of their already comfortable basic salary. (From The Independent). Note that the partly nationalised banks have rather lower bonuses than those that survived. But didn’t they get bailed out as well? Don’t you want to cry for the managers of Lloyds and RBS? (No don’t answer that).
The fattest cats
Bob Diamond, Barclays £8.5m (likely total for 2010)
Mr Diamond earns a basic salary of £1.35m with up to £3.4m payable as his annual bonus. However, he can be paid a maximum of £6.5m for work carried out in a particular year under the bank’s long-term incentive plan. He was chief executive of Barclays Capital in 2010 when his basic was just £250,000 in a package heavily weighted towards bonuses. However his pay for 2010 is expected to resemble that of Barclays’ previous chief executive John Varley rather than that of an investment banker. As Barclays’ boss in the future he will be able to earn up to £11.5m.
Stephen Hester, RBS £3.2m (but could reach £9m)
Mr Hester earns a basic salary of £1.2m, plus pension contributions and other benefits of £420,000. He can earn a maximum bonus for 2010 of £2.4m but for an “on target” year it is more likely to come in at about £1.6m. Down the line up to £4.8m more is available through the bank’s long-term incentive scheme.
Eric Daniels, Lloyds £3.5m (but could hit £6.7m)
The pauper of the four, Mr Daniels earns a basic of £1.035m with a maximum annual bonus of £2.3m. An estimate of £500,000 on top for payments into his final-salary pension is reasonable. A further £2.8m could be earned through the long-term incentive scheme.
Stuart Gulliver, HSBC £10m
Like Mr Diamond, he was formerly head of his bank’s investment division, although it is not the powerhouse that Barclays Capital has become. All the same, he made £10m in 2009 and can expect similar for 2010. Details of his package as chief executive will emerge over time.