Friday, 7 August 2009
A Call For Transparency
Andrew Simms of the New Economic Foundation argues for a maximum as well as a minimum wage in today's Guardian. Not a recommendation likely to go down well in The City I would have thought nor one likely to be implemented any time soon but certainly one of a number of ideas that need to be given a public airing. Personally I am in favour of complete financial transparency. Every aspect of everyone's finances should be out there in the public domain. When I worked for the Environment Agency we had a Performance Related Pay system. Needless to say I spent some time arguing against what was nothing more than a device to enable management to divide the workforce and the secrecy surrounding individuals salaries helped to foster this division. I always made a point of openly discussing what I was paid. Management hated it. Wages, expenses, profit on the sale of houses, make it all public knowledge. Not just for MPs but for all of us.
In this country we have developed a culture of privacy about money and about politics as well. An "it's my business" attitude that is at odds with any suggestion that politics and earnings are not just personal concerns but social concerns as well. Get it out in the open I say. It's nothing to be ashamed of; or is it?