A CORK TD has called for the introduction of a millionaires tax after a new report revealed that company bosses are paid 50 times more than their workers on average.
An Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) report showed that bosses’ pay in the 26 companies rose by between 9 and 99% last year while workers’ pay increased by an average of 2.6%.
In half of the companies surveyed, bosses’ pay is at least 50 times higher than the average workers’ pay.
Solidarity TD for Cork North Central Mick Barry said that a 2% tax on net wealth exceeding €1m would raise more than €3bn.
“Twenty-two CEOs were paid close to a million euro or more in just 12 months. This gives just a little glimpse into the staggering levels of wealth now being accumulated by a relatively small number of people at the top of Irish society,” he said.
“At the same time, the Government claim that it has insufficient funds to build public housing on a mass scale or to introduce a fully-fledged National Health Service.
"There is a powerful case for the introduction of a millionaires tax which could raise more than €3bn each year,” Deputy Barry added.
According to the ICTU report, CEOs in 22 of Ireland’s top 26 companies received pay and benefits worth close to or more than €1m last year.
The chief executive at Smurfit was paid 87 times average workers’ pay, while the ratios were 80-1 and 75-1 at Tullow Oil and DCC.
The figures were 71-1 and 66-1 at Irish Ferries owner ICG and at the Kerry Group.
An EU directive that would require companies to explain how employee pay rates are taken into account when calculating bosses’ pay was meant to be put into effect last June but still has not been implemented.