From Socialist Voice, November 2010

Inequality in earnings and the “Celtic Tiger”


The disparity in earnings between the ordinary industrial worker and the average earnings of executive directors of seventeen companies quoted on the Irish Stock Exchange increased dramatically between 1997 and 2007. The companies were Aminex, CRH, Elan, DCC, Grafton, Glanbia, Independent News and Media, Irish Continental Group, Irish Permanent, Kenmare, Kingspan, McInerney, Oglesby and Butler, Readymix, Ryanair, AIB, and Anglo-Irish Bank.
     In 1997 the average earnings of eighty-one executive directors was €307,978. At the same time the average industrial wage was €19,319. This means that it took sixteen workers a year to earn that amount, or it would have taken one worker sixteen years to earn the same amount.
     In 2007 the average earnings of eighty-one executive directors was €1,026,970. At the same time the average industrial wage was €32,355. This means that it took thirty-two workers a year to earn that amount, or it would have taken one worker thirty-two years to earn the same amount.
     So there was a doubling in the number of years it would take a worker to earn the pay of an executive director. This shows how the Celtic Tiger increased inequality of income between directors and workers within that period of ten years.
[KC]

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