CARMEN CALIL, founder of Virago, now freelance writer: It's nice to earn a considerably larger amount than you are worth, but nothing ludicrous. Inheriting money is lethal and earning double what you're worth is equally lethal. DARCUS HOWE, television presenter: Yes. As a freelance I can do what I want, when I want. It's an essential freedom that makes working satisfactory and means the money I make is my own choice. I'm in an industry some claim is overpaid. The money isn't low but neither is it astronomical.

ANDREW MOULANG, mechanic: I think I'm worth a lot more. My work's highly specialised, but people don't want to pay for skill.

TED STEER, dentist: I'm worth it. I've had a six-year university training and a year of vocational training. Dentistry is intricate and stressful. When you greet people you tend to look at their eyes and mouths, so teeth are an important point of psychological and sociological contact.

ELSA MORALES, cleaning company director: I have been a cleaner and I think cleaners will always say they are underpaid, but cleaning is unskilled work and most cleaners don't do it properly. Some cleaners don't deserve the money they get, they don't care about what they are doing.

STEVE EMERSON, stuntman: Stuntmen are definitely worth the money. If actors were to do their own stunts and get hurt then everyone would lose. A film contract is about £1,500 per week but if the stunt is dangerous then we negotiate our own fee.

OLLY JASON, unemployed: When I was a student, the government were paying me about £9,000 tax free so I assumed that graduates would be earning a lot more. I began to view myself in terms of my financial value and felt I was rather worthless, because I was earning so little.

CHRIS EUBANK, boxer: I'm worth every penny other people are prepared to pay me.

Interviewees did not want their salaries disclosed