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The rich get richer…

DIRECTORS OF the FTSE 100 – the top 100 British companies – saw their incomes rise by an average of 49 per cent last year, while for the rest of us the average pay rise was less than 2 per cent. Someone’s doing well out of the recession – but it’s not you!
The directors have tried to camouflage these increases by awarding themselves 3 per cent in salary increases and the rest in bonuses and long-term share plans. But Incomes Data Services, whose research uncovered the scandal, has exposed the reality of boardroom pay.
While bosses and politicians repeat the mantra that we must all “tighten our belts” to justify cuts imposed on the majority of people, the super-rich minority have been accumulating a disgusting amount of personal wealth. The average income of a FTSE 100 chief executive now stands at a staggering £3,855,172. The richest of them, Michael Davis of mining conglomerate Xstrata, pocketed £18.4 million.
A second report from IDS showed the average pay awards for private sector workers was just 2.6 per cent. With inflation standing at double that figure, these workers have suffered a substantial pay cut in real terms. Public sector employees, meanwhile, are in the middle of a two-year pay freeze, which in real terms means a pay cut over two years of almost 10 per cent.
Paul Kenny, leader of trade union GMB, branded the FTSE 100 directors “elite greedy pigs” and pointed to a recent report from his union demonstrating how nine out of 10 workers have seen their living standards drop by up to 20 per cent.
The huge sums awarded to directors in the past year have come straight from the work of their employees, who have only received crumbs from their bosses’ tables. Companies that refuse to pay their employees even an inflation-level pay rise should be nationalised.
But we cannot expect public sector CEOs – like the Vice-Chancellor of Leeds University who this year saw his salary rise from £240,000 to £300,000 – to run these companies any more fairly. Instead they should be run under the control of their workers, who could put the millions of pounds of directors’ pay to much better use.

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