Fury as FTSE 100 ‘fat cat’ bosses receive average pay rise of £500,000

The bosses of Britain’s biggest companies saw their pay surge by 16% last year as most workers saw their pay packets outstripped by inflation, according to new research.

The High Pay Centre said chief executive officers for firms on the FTSE 100 – the index of the UK’s largest publicly listed companies – had an average pay rise of around £500,000 in 2022.

Unions said the data shows that Britain has become “a land of grotesque extremes”.

Median pay for a FTSE 100 CEO increased from £3.38 million in 2021 to £3.91 million in 2022, the High Pay Centre said.

It represents a continued upward trend after it dropped to £2.46 million in 2020 as companies were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The research shows that the gap between bosses and workers widened further over the year, with it recording that the median FTSE 100 CEO was paid 118 times the median UK full-time worker, up from 108 times in 2021.

Reacting to these latest figures, TalkTV's Rosanna Lockwood said: "Do you feel surprised, do you feel outraged, given what you are dealing with?

"Given the Bank of England have actually tried telling workers to show restraint and not ask for big pay rises to help control inflation.

"Or, is choosing a medium 3.9 million pounds a year salary actually fair pay for a highly skilled and high pressured role?"

This new research comes a week after official figures showed that average wages are continuing to grow behind rises in the cost of living.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said regular pay growth, which excludes bonuses, reached 7.8% over the three months to June compared to a year earlier, but actually dropped by 0.6% once inflation was taken into account.

TUC (Trade Union Congress) general secretary Paul Nowak said: “While millions of families have seen their budgets shredded by the cost-of-living crisis, City directors have enjoyed bumper pay rises.

“This is why workers must be given seats on company boards to inject some much-needed common sense and restraint.

“We need an economy that delivers better living standards for all – not just those at the top. But under the Tories, Britain has become a land of grotesque extremes.”

Rosanna said these figures come at the same time as "falling living standards in Britain at the moment."

"People are losing their homes, they're using food banks, businesses are folding, people are struggling to make ends meet", she said.

TalkTV's Richard Tice agreed, saying the ratio between CEO and workers' pay has "just gone off the dial."

"Leadership is about leading from the front, and they've done themselves, and the private sector, and the cause of business and free markets a great disservice.

"It doesn't help ordinary folk really struggling here in the UK."

But socialist author Grace Blakeley said that the UK is not characterised by free markets.

"The ratio between CEO and worker pay is much higher in companies that dominate markets, in monopolistic companies that are able to enclose a certain market and then extract from workers, from planet and from the taxpayer", she added.