City workers: rich and poor divide is too much

St. Paul's protestorsA survey among workers in the City of London confirms what a lot of people including several of the St. Paul's protestors have been saying for a while - the gap between high earners and people with low incomes is far too high. Of course that's easy to say to a market research company in order to give yourself a warm glow - now, what do we do about it, chaps?

The figures come from a St. Paul's Institute report titled "Value and Values: Perceptions of Ethics in the City Today" and it appears that from a sample of over 500 City employees, some 75% think the gap between low and high income brackets is too great.

Before any radicals and left-wingers start a "told you so" chorus it may be worth mentioning that study after study shows that the gap increased rather than decreased while Labour was in power.


The church, meanwhile, is trying to set up a group focusing on "ethical capitalism", following the same report's conclusion that two thirds of people believe that City workers are motivated exclusively by finance and perks with job satisfaction coming a distant second.

The Bishop of London has asked churchwarden Ken Costa to investigate ethical capitalism. So far there have been noises about the need to address the whole person rather than just the financial person in work ethics.

Many will see this as an odd thing for the church to become involved in, and indeed the whole juxtaposition of the clergy and the financial markets over the last few weeks has been bizarre. But if someone is actually trying to do something rather than simply complain about the figures, to do something positive instead of occupy a lawn outside a religious institution, I'm not going to criticise.

In fact if the church could make it a multi-creed initiative and invite humanists and atheists in as well, it might do the power of good.
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