According to a study published on Tuesday, CEOs at Britain’s biggest companies increased their salaries by 16% last year, earning on average 118 times more than the rest of Britons, whose incomes are being eroded by inflation.
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According to think tank The High Pay Centre, the salaries of CEOs of companies on the FTSE 100 – the London Stock Exchange’s flagship index – will have risen by an average of £500,000 (€586,000) by 2022, with the median salary falling from £3.38 million a year 2021 to 3.91 last year.
“At a time when so many households are struggling with the cost of living, an economic model that prioritizes half a million pay rises for bosses who are already multi-millionaires has to go wrong somewhere,” reacted Luke Hildyard of High Pay Center.
According to the study, the gap between company leaders and employees has widened: the average salary of big bosses is now 118 times higher than the average salary of a full-time worker in the country, compared to 108 times in 2021.
Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca Laboratories, is the highest paid corporate executive in the FTSE 100. He was paid £15.3million last year.
For the general secretary of the TUC, Paul Nowak, it is a sign that the UK has become “a country of grotesque extremes”.
“While the budgets of millions of families have been slashed by the cost-of-living crisis, city bosses are taking advantage of the increases,” he denounced.
“That’s why employees need to sit on boards to show common sense and restraint,” he added.
Last week, Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that British wages continued to rise at a slower pace than inflation.
According to the ONS, wages have increased by 7.8% in one year (on average for the months of April, May and June 2023 compared to the same period in 2022), but in fact they have fallen by 0.6% in real terms once the inflation reached is taken into account.