Be careful what you wish for - salary and tax transparency

Varied groups are arguing that we should have total salary and tax transparency in Britain. We don’t think so because what others are paid by those who employ them is none of our or your business. It’s a private contract and that’s that. However, those who are advocating it might want to think through this a little:

A majority of British workers would back pay transparency measures to tackle income inequality, as calls mount for Scandinavian-style income disclosures in Britain.

A survey undertaken by YouGov on behalf of the jobs website Indeed showed 56% of workers support making personal information such as monthly income and tax returns publicly available.

The poll joins growing calls from Labour, trade unions, thinktanks and campaign groups to introduce pay disclosures to tackle heightened levels of inequality in Britain. Countries including Finland, Sweden and Norway already force the publication of pay and tax details for every worker in some form.

As has been noted by many people Britain is not in fact a Nordic country, we do things a little differently here. One of those being that we can be rather more rambunctious at times. Another is our own - as opposed to their - feeling of what is fair.

Our reading of which is that what irks and irritates on the Clapham Omnibus isn’t the millions going to CEOs, the footballers’ salaries. Rather, the very solid incomes of the tax fed salariat. And we think that that’s where the exposures, the articles about how awful it all was, would be concentrated. That money taken off us to pay for that diversity coordinator for examples, that would be a target don’t you think?

After all, the Taxpayers’ Alliance does indeed do such surveys of how much public servants are making and they do gain the column inches. Our view is that such transparency would rebound to where the proposers of it rather hope it won’t - to their own incomes. Actually, at which point, bring it on.