Labour’s Blarney on High Pay

It’s not often that I agree with the SNP but their Leader, Alex Salmond is right to point out that under Labour inequality rose.

The problem that the Government had in dealing with Stephen Hester’s pay is that he is on a contract negotiated by the last Labour Government. That is hardly surprising. In 2010 this state run bank has more than 100 people with salaries of £1,000.000+. The Labour rubric, like their Tory friends is that if the rich get well paid then the money will trickle down to the peasants.

Remember Tony Blair and his fabulous paid for holidays from Senor Berlusconi of Italy and Cliff Richard. Remember “two mortgages” Mandelson and his continued habit of spending time on the yachts of the rich. These people are not and never have been socialists – they were so appalled by the rich that they wanted to mingle with them. Now released from the cares of office they are coining it in with rumours that at least one of these now has off shore bank accounts to minimise tax losses.

But it is not only in terms of pay that Labour fell so far short of what they could have done. Let’s take a particular favourite of mine – housing. It is a scandal that there were 36,000+ LESS social homes after 13 years of Labour in power nationally than there were under the Tories. As I have expressed elsewhere I do not believe that the 170,000 homes which will be produced by this government will all be social homes for the needy but if only half of them are that will still be a record to put Labour to shame.

My view on these is very simple and it is not necessarily the same as the Lib Dems! As I have already expressed this view in another blog I am being absolutely consistent when I ask, “what do these people want all this money for?” Most of us who are lucky enough to be in work would think that all our dreams and those of our kids would be met on £100,000 a year. Somehow we manage to struggle through life without a second home in the Dordogne or a testosterone charged car capable of doing 170 mph which we could not legally use in this country.

Most of us don’t feel losers for not having this money but winners for having enough to live on, a little bit put by for rainy days, good health, the love of our family and a warm place we can call home. Living comfortably is what most of us aspire to not living greedily.

Some say that a high tax approach like mine would lead to people of quality leaving the country and taking their skills with them. I don’t believe most of them would go. They are as fascinated by running a big business as they are greedy in welcoming the money. But every cloud has a silver lining! We will never build a fair society if we are run and led by greedy people. Some might go – the rest of us will have a whip round to pay their fare!

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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