How much?

I had a twinge of sympathy when I read the headline ‘S & M chief’s pay cut by a third’.  I continued reading.  His total package (for the year) dropped to £2.7m.  My sympathy waned.  Most people don’t earn that in a lifetime.

There are many things wrong with the world, and this is up there with the best (or worst) of them.  Who on earth is worth £2.7m for a year’s work?  I would take some convincing that there is any justification for this level of pay (and I know that there are others paid even more) – regardless of the level of responsibility.  The figures are obscene.  Who makes the value judgement?  It is people who’s own ‘worth’ may largely be governed by the chief executive’s pay.  His perceived worth impacts their own.

I understand the idea that higher rewards encourage more people to aspire to similar riches.  Extra large lottery prizes apparently encourage additional ‘investment’ in the lottery – as though the odd £million is not sufficient to entice people to buy tickets – it has to be lots of millions.

Does the executive really need that level of reward to make him do a good job?  Did he do a good job?  One of the reasons his pay was so meagre (cut by 38%) was that targets were not met.  He was paid £2.7m for what appears to be failure to achieve.  Obviously not enough encouragement!

No, the lack of performance was likely the result of factors beyond the executive’s control, and the actual performance may well have been in spite of his control.  It’s the result of the efforts of a collective workforce.  It’s true someone has to lead – But £2.7m?

Where is the sense of realism?  Executives, footballers, football managers, (I’ve no doubt missed some categories) so vastly over-rated and overpaid in a world with so much poverty, malnutrition and disease.  Noah would surely be designing and building an even bigger ark.