Lewisham Greens call for Council pay upper limit

Alluding to The Spirit Level, the Greens have called for a salary cap for senior Council staff in Lewisham, linked to the income of the most poorly paid Council employee.

It's an interesting idea, but one outcome would be to incentivise Council leaders to raise pay for the lowest-paid in the organisation, with potentially wage-inflationary consequences at every level of the organisation. And the 10-to-1 ratio seems to be an arbitrary one, based on the fact that it's a nice round number and sounds fairly generous:

No employee in Lewisham Council should earn more than ten times the salary of the lowest paid employee, demanded Lewisham’s Green Councillor, Darren Johnson. At last night’s full council meeting Darren called on the Council to implement a “fair pay ratio” to limit the gap between the highest and lowest paid.

Lewisham Council’s Chief Executive currently earns £192,387 (1) while a formal question Darren tabled to the council revealed that the lowest paid council employee earns £15,036 (2).
Cllr Johnson commented, “At a time of council cuts the public are rightly questioning why senior officer are paid such high salaries. But the idea of a fair pay ratio goes wider than that. Research shows that pay inequality has a detrimental effect on the whole of society. Countries with a smaller gap between the well and low paid have less crime, fewer health problems and greater social cohesion.”