Richest UK bosses just got richer

The richest bosses of Britain’s richest companies have been unaffected by austerity over the last year, raking in an average 40% increase in earnings over the same period.

The figures were exposed by pay analysts Incomes Data Services, and took the annual earnings of FTSE 100 directors to £3.3bn.

However, bosses are showing no such largesse to their employees, with average earnings for ordinary workers growing by just 0.7% over the last year and public sector workers seeing their average earnings fall by 0.4%, even before taking account of the effect of inflation.

The picture is part of a long-term trend that has taken chief executives’ pay from 47 times average workers’ earnings in 1998 to 120 times average workers’ earnings today, and the disparity is set to grow well into retirement, with the average annual pension entitlement among bosses of the UK’s biggest companies currently standing at over a quarter of a million pounds.

The bonanza for shareholders and bosses, coming at the same time as the Tory government preaches the need for service cuts and pay freezes, has been aided and abetted by that same government, which has handed big business billions by slashing the corporation tax paid on profits and awarding income tax breaks to Britain’s biggest earners.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said that top CEOs’ “median salary is an eye-watering £568,500, and, as if that wasn’t enough to live on, it was topped up with a £553,200 bonus”.

He added: “The FTSE 100 chief executives now earn 120 times the average earnings of their employees. What can make someone at the top worth so much more than someone at the bottom? It’s a statistic that should alarm us all and it is not sustainable.”


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