David Love is quite right to call for a pay rise for NHS staff:
Why can’t we give nurses a fair pay rise? Letter to the editor
BUT it isn’t just NHS staff that are suffering: (almost) all of us are.
TUC research shows that about 58 to 61 per cent of national income (GDP) between 1960 & 1980 went in wages, compared with only 50 per cent now. In addition to this, the share that went to the top 1 per cent rose from 6 per cent in 1979 to 14 per cent now.
This has resulted in an average loss of £3000 per household as a result of the declining share of income that goes to earnings and a similar amount as a result of a greater share of the total wage bill going to the top 10 per cent of earners.
In addition to this, the price of ‘essentials’ – rent/mortgages, council tax, utilities & food – have risen significantly higher than the retail price and consumer price indices, affecting lower earners much more than higher earners. (Debt is a real problem as a consequence of the pandemic, too. Ed)
As American Nick Hanauer – self-described plutocrat – states in The Pitchforks are Coming,
“If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.”
So if those in power don’t want better pay for all of us, then there is a warning from one of the super rich of the potential consequences.