Highlighting the work of Green MEPs to cap bankers bonuses, London Green MEP Jean Lambert called for fair pay for all Londoners, and the largely publicly-owned RBS to introduce a maximum top-to-bottom pay ratio of 10:1 for its employees.
The move comes as new government statistics show rising income inequality in the UK – with the richest 1% of households in the UK having greater wealth than half the UK population.
In the meantime the estimated gap between the pay of CEOs and employees has doubled in ten years.
Ms Lambert was joined outside the RBS building, in the heart of the City of London, by fellow Green candidates and campaigners to highlight the growing issue of income inequality in the capital.
Ms Lambert said: “Income inequality in the UK is amongst the highest in the developed world – and it’s getting worse.
“At the lower end of the scale, three quarter of a million Londoners earn less than the “living wage” – leaving them struggling to feed their families or pay the rent despite putting in the graft. This is unacceptable – the minimum wage should be a living wage.
“But it’s not just the lowest paid – average wages across the capital have been falling in real terms – while those at the top continue to reward themselves disproportionate sums.
“We need to rebalance the scales – to cap the earning of the elite few, and bring in fairer wages across the board.
“Bankers are the prime example of a pay system which is out of step with society. As a largely taxpayer owned company, RBS should lead from the front on this issue and introduce a maximum ratio of ten to one from the top to the bottom.
“Greens are the only group in Europe who are committed to ending this absurd concentration of wealth for a tiny elite.
“It was Greens who brought in the cap on bankers’ bonuses – something supported by three out of five Londoners, but fought tooth and nail by the UK Government.
“It shows the flawed priorities of our out-of-touch Tory-Lib Dem coalition that they won’t fight for fair pay for all Londoners, but they’ll go to court to protect bankers bonuses.
“It’s time to bring this inequality to halt, and make sure every wage is at least a living wage.”