It’s been a great start to the year for the UK’s top earners. Our friends at the High Pay Centre calculated that FTSE 100 bosses were paid more in three days than the average worker will get across the whole year. The pay of the top company bosses is up almost 40% compared to last year.
But while the CEOs of Britain’s biggest companies are raking it in, many people working in our public services haven’t had a proper pay rise in over a decade. Given the ongoing cost of living crisis, it can’t be a surprise that nurses, ambulance drivers and rail workers have started 2023 with more strikes.
We can change things in 2023
If we are to tackle the problems our country faces, such as the collapsing NHS and care system, then we need much more public investment, supported by taxing the wealth of the super rich. I want 2023 to be the year when we start to see politicians act.
The budget in March is the first big chance this year for the government. Once again we’ll be pressuring Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt to bolster public services by taxing the very wealthy more, as well as making the tax system fairer overall.
So much needs to be done
The crisis in our hospitals is a good example of the kind of battle we face this year but a version of that story could be told about a swath of public services. This fascinating Twitter thread from journalist John Burn-Murdoch sets out the impact of a decade of austerity. The state’s ability to respond to crises has been severely weakened.
We need politicians to prioritise long term funding for our public services. The fair way to do this is through taxing wealth more.
There is little doubt that the cost of living crisis has made things worse, but in 2022 we showed we can make the government act. Read more about what we achieved in 2022 here.
Election on the horizon
This year we will see all the political parties start to jockey for position in the run up to a general election due in 2024. It is a crucial moment to build the case for the role that a transformed tax system needs to play in dealing with the many crises this country faces.
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