Over half of Britons support the introduction of a maximum wage and a £100,000 cap would hurt less than 3% of earners, think tanks claim
- Report said salary cap of £187k could achieve minimum wage of £10.50 an hour
- It added targeting top 1% of earners could boost wages of nine million workers
- Autonomy also said polling showed public support for a wage cap of £100,000
Excessive salaries should be capped to raise wages for lower-paid workers and help save jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report from two left-wing think tanks.
Autonomy and the High Pay Centre argued that a maximum wage of £100,000 could redistribute money equivalent to more than one million jobs.
If the earnings of the top one per cent were cut by imposing a cap on annual earnings then nine million low and middle income workers would see their wages wages boosted by £3,535 annually, said their report.
The cap could help avoid mass lay-offs during the coronavirus crisis if the very rich were paid a little less, the think tanks suggested.
Nine million low and middle income workers would have their wages boosted if only the top one per cent of earners were targeted, said the think tanks’ report (file photo)
A minimum wage of £10.50 an hour could be achieved if a salary cap of £187,000 was introduced, affecting the top 0.6 per cent of earners and giving pay rises to more than three million workers, research indicated.
Autonomy also released new polling which it said showed public support for the introduction of a maximum wage cap of £100,000.
Will Stronge, of Autonomy, said: ‘A maximum wage is popular with the public and could be an essential tool for making sure that industries and those that work in them survive this pandemic.
‘Let’s be honest – earning anything more than £100,000 a year is by most people’s standards extremely excessive, especially during an economic crisis where millions are being made unemployed.
Research indicated a minimum wage of £10.50 an hour could be achieved if a salary cap of £187,000 was introduced, affecting the top 0.6 per cent of earners (file photo)
‘If income was distributed just a little more fairly, you could still have high salaries but with much higher employment and higher average wages too.’
Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Centre, said: ‘Tolerating the vast gaps between those at the top and everybody else in this country is a far more extremist policy than putting a cap on annual earnings of £200,000 – enough to enable a lifestyle of absolute luxury compared to the vast majority of the population, and a perfectly sufficient reward for doing a difficult or demanding job.
‘With the UK economy likely to be much smaller than previously envisaged for the foreseeable future, we urgently need to think about sharing the wealth we do have more evenly.’