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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 December 2006, 18:07 GMT
Bishop criticises City pay rates
The Right Reverend Dr Peter Selby
The bishop said people on modest incomes should fairer treatment
The Bishop of Worcester has criticised high salaries, like those paid to workers in the City, as "unfair".

Economists estimate 4,000 people will earn more than 1m this year, a new salary record.

The Right Reverend Peter Selby said it was "insulting" such salaries were justified by performance and said they were "galling" to NHS workers.

He called for an intervention into the wage market, similar to action taken over Third World debt.

In the past the bishop has warned about the rising levels of debt around the world.

And in September, he said prayers at a service for NHS workers in Worcestershire who were about to lose their jobs because of financial cutbacks.

Speaking on BBC Radio Four's PM programme, the bishop said: "What we find most unfair when looking at pay rates is when people who earn huge sums of money are also insulated from the risk.

Market intervention

"Their contracts are written in such a way that when they fail they receive huge rewards as pay-offs.

"It's very galling for people who are in the National Health Service who find themselves under threat of losing their job."

He criticised the justification for such high pay rates.

"There is something slightly insulting about this constant reference to people that have performed well, as though nurses and hospital porters and teachers don't perform well or shouldn't get rewarded when they do."

He said that action to reduce the debt of developing countries was proof that effective control of the market was possible.

"We can intervene to make life fairer so that people who don't have the opportunities of making such astronomical sums, and don't want to make such sums just decent ones, get a fairer crack of the whip."

Bishop criticises 'debt economy'
12 Nov 06 |  Hereford/Worcs
Bishop in 'milestone' retirement
31 Oct 06 |  Hereford/Worcs

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