CEO pay shows entrenched inequality

Ten percent pay rises for CEOs are evidence of an economy based on entrenched inequality, the Green Party said today, following the release of The New Zealand Herald’s executive pay survey.

“Most ordinary working New Zealanders would have been lucky to get a two or three percent pay rise in 2014, but CEOs are getting ten percent or more,” Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said.

“These CEO pay figures show how normalised such extreme inequality has become. It shouldn’t be like this.

“Pay rates for ordinary workers have not kept up with productivity increases in recent years, which means workers aren’t getting fairly rewarded for the wealth they help to create.

“National’s failed economy benefits the rich and leaves hard working New Zealanders struggling to stay afloat.

“When the economy isn’t working for everyone, it isn’t working at all.

“The Green Party is repeating our call for large, publicly listed companies to report the ratio between their highest and lowest paid workers as a way of ensuring these companies justify the extreme salaries they may be paying their CEOs.

“New Zealand has a shameful history of increasing the gap between CEO and worker pay.

“In 2002, a New Zealand CEO’s average pay was 15.2 times an average worker’s income, but by 2012 the CEOs of the top listed New Zealand companies were earning 26.4 times as much as their average employees.

“Dairy farmers doing it tough with the low global milk price and Fonterra workers, whose jobs are facing the chop, will be looking at the Fonterra CEO’s $4.18 million pay packet, a $660,000 rise in just one year, and shaking their heads in disbelief.”

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