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'Radical ideas' Wealth cap for high earners could help redirect cash to those who need it most

If we want those in the middle and at the bottom to maintain their current living standards - let alone improve them… we’re going to have to do a dramatically better job of sharing things more evenly"

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A salary cap for top earners could redirect some of the money from those who have more than they need to those who don’t have enough. 

It is one of several suggestions that has been backed by the likes of former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the past to create a society where wealth is distributed more evenly.

With some of the world's richest people earning more money every minute than the vast majority of people earn in a year, Luke Hildyard, Director of the High Pay Centre in the UK, said we need radical ideas on how to redirect wealth.

“It’s useful to dig into the thinking behind it by asking what is it that determines people’s level of prosperity?”, he told Sean Moncrieff on Lunchtime Live.

“Think about it in terms of a pie: how much everybody gets depends on how big the pie is and how evenly it is sliced up.

“If we want those in the middle and at the bottom to maintain their current living standards - let alone improve them… we’re going to have to do a dramatically better job of sharing things more evenly.

"We need radical ideas on how to redirect some of the money who have more than they need... to those who don’t have enough.

“Proportionally, the way we distribute things at the moment is not even efficient or sensible - let alone morally right. There’s great wealth in the world, and yet more people have more of it than they could possibly hope to spend."

However, he said his own organisation, a think tank that researches issues like pay, work and inequality, has carried out research looking at the kind of changes a maximum wage could bring for people.

"For example, if you capped pay at around £200,000 in the UK… that would be 80,000 earners. But it would mean a pay rise of around £15,000 for around nine million people.

“Even those supposedly losing out… they’d still be earning eight times the UK national average salary, making the kind of money year in, year out that would enable you to afford multiple properties, foreign holidays, luxury cars… a lifestyle generally beyond the wildest dreams of any normal person."

He said he believes people across society would be a lot happier if wealth was more evenly shared - stressing the idea is the "politics of proportionality rather than the politics of envy."

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