High pay, low pay, the BBC and everyone else

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It is being reported that the BBC is to be forced to disclose the pay of its 109 high earning presenters. These are people paid more than £150,000 a year. Disclosure will be in £50,000 bands.

In principle I have no problem with the disclosure of high pay: income inequality is a problem in the UK.

In practice I have a problem with the BBC being picked on: this is not an issue for them alone.

And I definitely have a problem with high pay being made an issue when low pay is as much a matter of concern.

At one time large companies were required to publish the pay of all their staff in bands of £10,000. I see enormous merit in that publication being revived. I would require it on a country-by-country basis and I would also expect the pay of staff engaged via sub-contractors to work on the company's premises to be separately disclosed.

If we are serious about the problems of low pay, and we should be, then such a straightforward bit of accounting is vital if behaviour is to be changed.