27 Jan 2012

SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow’s East End, John Mason, is raising the issue of the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the Scottish Parliament.

The Shettleston MSP today (Friday) tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament for Members’ business which would lead to a debate on excessive pay if it attracts cross-party support. Mr Mason’s motion notes the failure of the recent Hutton report on Fair Pay to recommend that the remuneration of an organisation’s highest-paid employee should be capped at 20 times that of the lowest paid. In his motion, he also goes on to lambast the recent bonus payment of Stephen Hester, Chief Executive of the tax-payer owned Royal Bank of Scotland who, in addition to his £1.2million a year salary, is reported to be receiving a £963,000 bonus.

Scottish National Party MSP, John Mason – who is also a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee – said:

“Enough is enough. This can’t go on any longer – the public are sick fed up of bankers walking away with enormous bonuses whilst the average man and woman struggles by on the, frankly, inadequate minimum wage.

“The gap between the rich and the poor has been widening for a considerable time now and I would be keen for us to discuss it openly and frankly in Parliament.

“The Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee recently took evidence from Will Hutton and I was disappointed that Mr Hutton’s report did not recommend a cap on pay for those at the top of a public sector organisation.

“There is something fundamentally wrong in our society that someone at the bottom of a company can be on the minimum wage of just £6.08 an hour, whilst someone like Stephen Hester walks away with £1.2million a year and £963,000 in bonuses. That is pure greed as far as I am concerned.

“I hope MSPs across party lines will sign my motion which could lead to a debate about the widening gap between the rich and the poor.”