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FTSE100 bosses set to equal average workers’ annual salary by 1pm today

Britain’s weathervane politicians blamed for Britain's ‘obscene’ inequality

FTSE100 bosses’ pay is set to equal the average workers’ annual salary by 1pm today — one hour earlier than last year — with experts blaming Britain’s weathervane politicians for the country’s “obscene” and growing inequality.

The TUC blasted the Tories for making it ”one rule for the super-wealthy and one rule for everybody else” as the High Pay Centre published its galling findings.

The think tank found the median pay of chiefs of the top 100 listed companies rose by 16 per cent to £500,000 last year while the latest official figures showed real wages won’t even recover to their 2008 value until 2028.

High Pay Centre director Luke Hildyard said: “Lobbyists for big business and the financial services industry spent much of 2023 arguing that top earners in Britain aren’t paid enough and that we are too concerned with gaps between the super-rich and everybody else.

“They think that economic success is created by a tiny number of people at the top and that everybody else has very little to contribute.

“When politicians listen to these misguided views, it’s unsurprising that we end up with massive inequality, and stagnating living standards for the majority of the population.”

Based on the most recent pay disclosures in FTSE 100 firms’ annual reports and government statistics showing pay levels across the economy, the research found that their CEOs’ median pay, excluding their pension, stood at £3.81 million in the financial year ending in March 2023.

This amounted to approximately £1,170 per hour, assuming the bosses work 12.5 hours a day, with the yearly amount a whopping 109 times the median full-time worker’s wage of £34,893.

Responding to the figures, TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “The Conservatives are presiding over — and enabling — obscene levels of pay inequality.

“While working people have been forced to suffer the longest wage squeeze in modern history, City bosses have been allowed to pocket bumper rises and bankers have been given unlimited bonuses.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. We need an economy that rewards work — not just wealth.

“That means putting workers on company boards to inject some much-needed common sense into boardrooms. It means taxing wealth fairly. And it means a government that is willing to work with unions and employers to drive up living standards for all.”

The figures come after a cap on bonus payments for bankers was scrapped last year, as supposed Tory efforts to make Britain a more attractive place to work.

It means there is no longer a limit on the amount people who work for banks or building societies in Britain can receive in annual payouts.

Labour MP Richard Burgon, secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, told the Morning Star: “Once again we see how our economy is rigged in the interests of the rich and powerful.

“The Tories have overseen the biggest attacks on wages and living standards in decades while helping the rich to grab an ever-greater share of the wealth in our society.

“We need to step up the pressure for a wealth tax and use the billions raised to invest in repairing our public services and to help create an economy that serves the vast majority of people, not just the wealthy few.”

The Labour leadership, however, was in August praised by finance advisers after shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves ruled out a wealth tax, a mansion tax on expensive properties or raising capital gains tax should it get into government in the next general election.

Yesterday Fran Boait, co-executive director of research and campaign group Positive Money, told the Star: “It won’t surprise anyone that bankers and big business bosses are on the winning side of Britain’s widening income gap.

“Figures like these only entrench the growing feeling among many that our government serves to enrich an elite few with deep pockets, rather than the struggling majority.

“Rather than asking ordinary workers not to demand pay increases, policymakers should be more worried about pay growth at the top.”

Labour was contacted for comment.

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