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The minimum wage became law in 2000. Eleven years elapsed before the Government capped the pay of senior civil servants at €200,000 per year. The income distribution statistics for 2011, compiled by the Revenue Commissioners, make interesting reading. Half of all taxpayers accounted for one-fifth of gross incomes.
Two-thirds of all taxpayers earned only the average wage of €37,500 or less. The top 1%, who earned €200,000 or more, took 9% of all gross income. They were in the private sector. The pay cap of €200,000 should also apply to the private sector.
The top 1% would still receive 5% of the national pay cake. The 4% saved would equal €3.25 bn. The Government could channel that into the Exchequer.
Alternatively, they could distribute it to the 99% of us who are less fortunate. Each of us would be better off by an extra €1,600 annually.
That may not seem much, but, coming up to the centenary of 1916, it would be a start on the road towards a fairer society.
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