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BBC Radio 4 Salary Poll

Survey for BBC Radio 4 of public attitudes towards acceptable salary levels published 18 September 2010

Date Published: 17 Sep 2010

Categories: Public and communities | Social | UK


Premiership footballers should earn more than Prime Minister, according to BBC Radio 4 poll


Premiership footballers should be paid more than the Prime Minister and FTSE 100 Chief Executives, according to a ComRes poll carried out for BBC Radio 4.


If salaries were adjusted according to the poll’s responses, FTSE 100 Chief Executives would face a 94 per cent pay cut, Premiership footballers would lose nearly 80 per cent of their salaries and the Prime Minister’s pay packet would be cut by 16 per cent.


Respondents to the poll also felt the minimum wage should be almost doubled to £19,700 per year. An adult worker on the current minimum wage of £5.80 working a 35-hour week earns about £10,500.


The poll, carried out by ComRes quizzed 1,000 adults for Pay and Tax: The Radio 4 Debate which will be aired this Sunday, 19th September at 5pm. Participants were asked how much different professions should be paid as an annual salary. They were not told what the current average salary is for each profession.


People who took part in the poll said they felt a Premiership footballer should earn £365,000, which compares to the average salary of a Premiership player of £1.7 million. Respondents felt that the Prime Minister’s pay should be £119,000, instead of £142,500 and a chief executive of a FTSE 100 company should receive a salary of £118,000. The average pay of a FTSE 100 Chief Executive is £2.1 million.


Low earners would fare better if salaries reflected opinions given in the poll. A retail cashier who currently earns £13,000 should earn £18,000 according to respondents. A care assistant would be paid £24,000 instead of £16,000. A hospital porter should be paid £21,000 (current salary is £18,000) according to the poll and a call centre worker should earn £19,000 (currently earns £17,000).


But train drivers and secondary school head teachers would face pay cuts of 30 per cent and 40 per cent respectively according to the poll. The public felt a train driver should earn £28,000 a year instead of the actual average salary of £40,000 and secondary school head teachers should receive £43,000 instead of the current average salary of £73,000.


Nurses would see their pay rise by 13 per cent from the current average salary of £29,000 to £33,000 according to the poll.


BBC Radio 4 has broadcast a series of programmes on pay and taxation which culminates with the debate programme on Sunday. BBC political Editor Nick Robinson chairs the debate and the panellists are entrepreneur and philanthropist John Caudwell; Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee; Dr Andrew Lilico, chief economist of Policy Exchange and Professor Jonathan Wolff, Professor of Philosophy at University College London.


 ComRes telephoned 1,000 GB adults between 20th and 22nd August 2010. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Mean scores were calculated using the specific value given by each respondent.

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