The Times reports that, last year, the average annual pay of bosses running the hundred biggest companies in Britain clocked in at £5.7m. This broke down into basic pay (£918,000), bonuses (£1.24m), pension payments (£241,000) and other benefits, like chauffeur-driven cars and private healthcare (£96,000).
Whilst basic pay was slightly reined in under pressure from shareholders anxious to maximise their own cut, bonuses doled out in the form of shares compensated for this many times over. By contrast, blue-chip executive pay grew nine times faster than workers’ pay – and that’s starting from an already astronomic base.
Such figures elicit the usual social-democratic handwringing over the unfairness of it all, giving capitalism no sleepless nights. The biggest concern for Rachel Reeves, Labour chair of the Commons business select committee, is that these figures might “undermine public trust in business”– the one positive outcome, one might think.
For its part, the TUC tells us that the solution is to parachute some token workers onto the remuneration boards that set top pay. Diverting workers around such an illusory ‘solution’ shamefully disarms them. (Bosses’ pay rises nine times faster than workers’ wages by Patrick Hosking, The Times, 15 August 2018)