Search Class

New Class/YouGov poll finds 2 in 3 people want to cap executive salaries


  • Poll was carried out by YouGov for the Centre for Labour and Social Studies
  • Nearly 2 in 3 people support a 65:1 pay ratio for executive salaries
  • Nearly half of all people believe the country has become less fair since the 2010 general election

Contact: Ellie O’Hagan
T: 0207 611 2571

Almost two thirds of the British public support a cap on executive salaries, a new YouGov poll commissioned by the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) has revealed today [Wednesday].
The poll comes before Class holds its annual conference on 1 November which will debate the themes of power and inequality.

Nearly half of all people (47%) believe the country has become less fair since the 2010 general election.

The poll also reveals that more than 1 in 2 of the British people believe the gap between the rich and the poor is bad for the economy. Over half of people believe a mansion tax would be effective in reducing inequality, and two thirds believe increasing the top rate of income tax on those earning over £150k per annum would reduce inequality. More than 8 in 10 people think closing tax loopholes would be effective in reducing inequality, and more than 1 in 2 think a living wage would reduce inequality.

More than 1 in 2 people want to see the charitable status of private schools abolished, and the income generated to fund the income of the most in need.

Chair of Class, Steve Hart, said:

“These results are a wake-up call for political parties to take the issue of fairness seriously in the run up to the next election. If Labour answers the fairness question, it can gain support at the ballot box.

“A majority of the UK public believes the gap between the rich and the poor is bad for both society and the economy. It’s time for politicians to put forward how they are going to tackle widening inequality in Britain. Policies that narrow the gap between the rich and the poor have clear popular support.

“It is clear there is popular support for pay ratios that are much smaller than those enjoyed by bosses of FTSE100 companies. Labour has talked about pay ratios; this poll shows that that the public is well behind capping the pay of those at the top in relation to those at the bottom.

“It is time to address the public government subsidy of private education by allowing private schools to claim charitable status. It is outrageous that the government supports schools that contribute to an unfair education system which allows financially privileged pupils to succeed as a result of their parents’ incomes, rather than their abilities.”

– ENDS –

  1. More information about the poll, including the results in full, can be found here:
  2. The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) is a new think tank established in 2012 by Unite the Union, GMB and the Institute of Employment Rights to act as a centre for left debate and discussion and has the growing support of a number of trade Unions including ASLEF, CWU, GFTU, NUT, PCS, TSSA, UCATT, MU and NUM. Originating in the labour movement, Class is working with a broad coalition of supporters, academics and experts to develop and advance alternative policies for today.
  3. Class conference will provide a platform to fast track vibrant, fresh ideas into policy and our conference looks set to be the biggest gathering of progressives in the run-up to the 2015 General Election, to date. The event will see campaigners, journalists and leading thinkers on the economy, politics and society gather with working people and their unions to discuss the challenges facing Britain – and the responses needed to inspire voters. More information can be found here:
  4. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,629 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th - 27th October 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules.

More information
For further information, articles, interviews or media requests please contact Ellie O’Hagan on or 020 7611 2571.

Work areas: Inequality, Education. Tags: inequality.