What we learned this week: It's all about the money

21 February 2020

It’s all about the money this week. Getting it, spending it, saving it.

How much is too much?

Most of us like to think that we might be rich one day, and when we get there we don’t want people making us feel bad about it. Or at least that’s what research published by Trust for London last Friday found. Academics looked at whether there is public consensus about how much wealth is too much.

Researchers found that being wealthy is to be aspired to rather than derided or resented. As Sonia Sodha reported in the Guardian:

“In focus groups, most people acknowledged that excess wealth brings problems such as disproportionate political influence. But they did not, on the whole, feel angry with the rich; if anything, the reverse held. While they were less keen on those who did not earn their wealth, they admired people they thought had worked hard to make it.”

The world’s biggest savings pot?

In Thursday’s Times, Conservative MP John Penrose suggested that the UK create a ‘Sovereign Wealth Fund’ to drive long-term investment, growth in new industries, and meet the challenges facing future generations.

He explains: “It would create a pot of savings that could pay for state pensions and benefits. Building slowly over time, the Fund would provide an intergenerationally fair solution that would save many from having to shoulder the costs of others.”

Com off it

Ofcom has introduced new legislation which should help customers hit by ‘loyalty penalties’ on their broadband, TV and mobile deals.  From now on, service providers will need to text, email or write to their customers between 10 and 40 days before their contracts come to an end. How many of us would remember renewal dates otherwise? The team here at SLF have been caught out by this personally a number of times. It’s hard enough remembering loved-ones birthdays!

Mind the gap

On Wednesday we launched a new project with the High Pay Centre. The first mandatory pay ratio disclosures will appear in the UK's leading companies' annual reports from spring 2020. High Pay Centre will produce an analysis of this data later in the year.

The panel from the TUC, PWC, CIPD, NatCen and ASI debated what it would mean and whether it would make a difference to the lowest paid people. A quick straw poll of the audience showed that most thought it could make a difference.

Thanks to the following for their tweets this week: @soniasodha, @JohnPenroseNews and @HighPayCentre