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Gold Payroll To Combat Inflation

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EDITOR'S NOTE: UK financial firm Tally Money is thinking outside the box and implementing an innovative program that’ll allow its employees to inflation-proof their income: dropping pounds for a gold payroll. “We’re seeing the spending power of the pound continue to decline at an alarming pace whereas gold has been steadily rising in value throughout 2022,” says its CEO Cameron Parry. While pounds and other fiat currencies have been seeing a steady erosion of values, it’s fair to point out that gold has been experiencing stomach-churning price volatility. Tally Money employees are at least able to make a choice between two forms of risk: currency debasement or the volatility of a safe-haven asset. Though considered a barbarous relic by most mainstream employees (we can thank Keynes for that moniker), gold has particular functions that, time and again, are called upon when economies are under crisis. Tally Money’s deployment of gold is just one striking example of how the yellow metal can help prevent monetary erosion from affecting the money you carry in your purse or pocket.

Staff at a financial services firm have been offered the chance to get paid in gold rather than pounds and pence to help them stay ahead of inflation.

TallyMoney, which is an app linking currency tied to physical gold ownership, is understood to be the first employer in the country to trial a gold payroll, though others have offered to pay staff in crypto.

Chief executive officer Cameron Parry, said: “With the cost of living crisis going from bad to worse, it didn’t make sense to continue offering pay hikes in pounds when its value is being eroded further with every passing day. It was like putting a bandaid over an open wound.

“We’re seeing the spending power of the pound continue to decline at an alarming pace whereas gold has been steadily rising in value throughout 2022.”

Inflation rose by 9 per cent to reach a 40-year high in the 12 months to April this year.

Earlier this month, the Bank of England raised interest rates by 0.25 percentage points in an attempt to curb soaring inflation.

In the monetary policy committee's meeting, six members voted to raise rates to 1 per cent, while the remaining three members voted to increase rates by 0.5 percentage points to 1.25 per cent.

The central bank has hiked the base rate of interest in recent months to try and tame inflation, which has surged ahead of the bank's 2 per cent target each month since May last year.

According to BullionVault, while the BoE expects inflation to surge to 10 per cent, by contrast the value of gold has risen 11 per cent since the beginning of the year.

Parry added: “Gold is a time-tested inflation hedge and has maintained its purchasing power for millennia. At times like these, when conventional money is steadily losing its buying power, gold offers people the best chance of keeping ahead of inflation.”

TallyMoney begun piloting his gold payroll scheme among senior staff and will soon offer it company wide. 

This comes as earlier this year, BoE boss Andrew Bailey told the BBC that workers should not ask for big pay rises, to try and stop prices rising out of control.

He received backlash for this as Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said workers did not cause inflation or the energy crisis so why should they pay for it?

Graham said: “Yet again workers are being asked to pay the price, this time for inflation and the energy crisis. Inflation has not been caused by workers. Why should they be expected to pay for the failures of the energy market and the total shambles of government policy?

“Workers don’t need lectures from the governor of the Bank of England on exercising pay restraint. Why is it that every time there is a crisis, rich men ask ordinary people to pay for it? 

“Enough is enough, we will be demanding that employers who can pay, do pay. Let's be clear, pay restraint is nothing more than a call for a national pay cut.”

Parry said he himself has signed up to the gold scheme and the firm employs more than 20 staff who will be allowed to do so.

Paye taxes are applied as normal, with the exchange rate for gold to pounds taken into account.

As an example, a gross monthly salary that was previously £4,000 would be defined as 82,000 tally gross - 82,000 milligrams of gold - on their payslip. 

Digital marketing manager Ella Fraser said: “These days the price of everything seems to be going up, and young people are increasingly worried about the value of the pound in their pocket.

“I think it’s important for bosses to look at more innovative ways at helping their staff through these tough times, and having the option to agree your salary in tally is a great way of doing that.”

sonia.rach@ft.com 

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on FTAletters@ft.com to let us know

Originally published on FT Adviser.

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