Daily View 2×2: 14 September 2009

by Stephen Tall on September 14, 2009

2 Big Stories

Guardian: ‘executive pay keeps rising’

Today’s Guardian reports:

Executives at Britain’s top companies saw their basic salaries leap 10% last year, despite the onset of the worst global recession in decades, in which their companies lost almost a third of their value amid a record decline in the FTSE.

The Guardian’s annual survey of boardroom pay reveals that the full- and part-time directors of the FTSE 100, the premier league of British business, shared between them more than £1bn.

Bonus payouts were lower, but the basic salary hikes were more than three times the 3.1% average pay rise for ordinary workers in the private sector. The big rise in directors’ basic pay – more than double the rate of inflation last year – came as many of their companies were imposing pay freezes on staff and starting huge redundancy programmes to slash costs.

The paper quotes Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable:

The Guardian’s analysis shows the breathtaking cynicism involved in a lot of executive pay deals, which are unrelated to either personal or corporate performance and involve people who are very well off helping themselves to larger salaries when private sector wages in many companies are being cut.”

GPs told to stop using premium 0845 phone lines

The Daily Mail has the story
:

Doctors are to be banned from charging premium rates to ring their surgeries, say ministers. Up to a fifth of 8,000 GP practices in England – with 10million patients on their lists – flout Government guidance by using 0844 and 0845 numbers. The charges are higher than local rate calls and can be as much as 40p a minute from a mobile phone, with family doctors receiving part of the income.

However, no date for the ban has yet been set – much to the annoyance of Lib Dem shadow health secretary Norman Lamb:

The fact that the Government have yet to announce a timeline for scrapping premium rate phone lines in the NHS is just another example of Labour’s preference for talk over action.”

2 Must-Read Blog-Posts

Caron, Charlotte and Costigan are all right about the ISA (James Graham)

Within five years, another child will be abducted/abused/murdered by someone in a position of trust and once again the media will be clamouring “why did we let this happen?” Once again, the government solution will be yet another register, yet more checks, yet more expense. And once again people will withdraw just a little bit more into the private sphere, trust their neighours a little less and hope to God that the system will work this time.

London Calling (Jeremy Townsend on Freedom Central)

… [Plaid Cymru’s] anti-London posturing is only likely to appeal to the traditional party stalwarts. This separation of Wales from ‘London’ simply doesn’t mean anything to ordinary people. London is not a place to be afraid of; it is not a place to abandon, ignore or otherwise distance ourselves from. The only time non-Plaid voters encounter the imperial London of Plaid’s obsessions is in history books.