Is unlimited earning unfair? Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn calls for pay cap

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Jeremy Corbyn has called for a cap on pay for top earners in order to create more equality in society.

The Labour leader refused to be drawn on the level of the cap, but said action was needed to counter growing levels of income disparity in the UK.

He said he did not want to see Britain become a 'bargain-basement economy' on the fringes of Europe in the wake of the vote for Brexit.

'I would like there to be some kind of high earnings cap, quite honestly. I can't put a figure on it and I don't want to,' he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

'We have worse levels of income disparity than most of the OECD countries in this country. It is getting worse.

'If we want to live in a more egalitarian society and fund our public services, we cannot go on creating worse levels of inequality.

'I would to like to see a maximum earnings limit, quite honestly, because I think that would be a fairer thing to do.

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'We cannot set ourselves up as being a sort of grossly unequal, bargain-basement economy on the shores of Europe.

'We have to be something that is more egalitarian, gives real opportunities to everybody, and properly funds our public services.'

Mr Corbyn said a pay cap would be 'somewhat higher' than the £138,000 he earns as an MP and Leader of the Opposition.

He told Sky News: 'I think it would be somewhat higher than that. I am not going to put a figure on it. What I am going to say is that we are looking at this issue of the disparity of pay within big companies and organisations and do something to try and close that gap.'

The Labour leader took a swipe at the wages paid to footballers, saying: 'I think, certainly, the salaries that are paid to some footballers are simply ridiculous. I think some of the salaries paid to very high-earning top executives of companies are utterly ridiculous.'

Mr Corbyn, an Arsenal fan, said the team's manager would welcome a pay cap on soccer players.

'Arsene Wenger is a man who is an accountant at heart, and I think he would probably like it very much indeed. He would probably like there to be a maximum wage cap on the whole of the Premiership.'