Last week the business lobby reacted with predictable fury at the decision by Fair Work Australia to grant the lowest paid workers an additional $26 per week (a rise of 4.6% in 18 months). However, when it comes to the remuneration of corporate executives, many who of whom have delivered sub-optimal returns for shareholders, too much is rarely enough. According to the Productivity Commission, since the early 2000s, executive pay has risen by 6% annually -- before then, it rose by 13% per year.

The top 20 CEOs in Australia (that is, those managing the 20 largest companies rather than the 20 most skilled executives), were paid on average 320 times the wage of the lowest-paid workers in the country.