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These Cats Are More Than Just Fat

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Listen carefully and you just might hear the distant pop of champagne corks as bosses celebrate already being paid more this week than you could earn all year.

Hence Fatcat Wednesday, as it has been named by the High Pay Commission.

But these cats didn't just put on few pounds by creaming off the top of the milk. They have swigged down the whole bottle and gorged themselves on the contents of the fridge and all the kitchen cupboards.

Their workers are left scrabbling for crumbs as the bloated execs - who we are invited to believe do so much for our country - make off with an ever larger share of the cake.

Wednesday also saw government statisticians report that inflation had outstripped wage rises in all but four of the months since June 2008. Only one of those was in the 12 months to October 2013.

This stagnation has compounded poverty pay - and who picks up the tab? We do, of course, as our taxes subsidise big business through tax credits and other benefits for the working poor.

On New Year's Eve, our members who work as civilian staff in the Metropolitan Police, including 999 call handlers, were forced to strike over the imposition of a below-inflation 1% pay rise from an organisation that has saved millions on salaries in recent years by cutting jobs.

Across the civil service we calculate that come next year this government's pay and pension policies will have deprived someone earning an average wage of £24,000 of more than £10,000.

And given the living wage is widely accepted to be the minimum income necessary for a basic standard of living, isn't it simply ritualised abuse to pay anything less? And why won't the government demand its contractors pay it?

Last February, publishing research that showed that since 2008 the real value of wages has fallen by more than £50 billion a year, we said Britain needs a pay rise. We didn't mean the bosses.

So, while families are driven further into poverty and debt and the use of foodbanks soars, the champers is flowing in the circles chancellor George Osborne mixes in. No wonder he thinks our economy is recovering.

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