Deborah Hargreaves, of the independent High Pay Centre, which monitors executive pay, said: “We have calculated that a FTSE 100 boss makes more money in two days than someone on average wages takes home in the entire year.” She said: “That means it would take someone on average wages 160 years to earn as much as a top boss gets in just a year.
During the four years of David Cameron’s premiership top bosses’ pay has grown £700,000. For most people over the same period inflation has eroded wages. They are £2,500 a year poorer in real terms. This amounts to an 8.4% fall in salary, while fat cats earn 26% more.
The TUC figures, based on wage and inflation data between 2010 and 2014 reveal average wages for ambulance paramedics are down by 12.4%, primary schoolteachers by 13.4% and bus drivers 11.3%. The average pay of a supermarket checkout worker dropped by 7.7% – around £1,163 a year – while a lorry driver’s income slumped 8.1% – or £2,300.
At the other end of the scale, the FTSE’s highest earning chief exec, WPP ad agency’s Martin Sorrell, is on £29.8million a year, according to the High Pay Centre. He’s followed by holiday boss Peter Long, of TUI Travel, who pocketed £13.3million, ITV chief Adam Crozier (£8.3million) and Stuart Gulliver (£8million). Other chief executives named by the High Pay Centre include Prudential boss Tidjane Thiam, who got £8.6million, and BP’s Bob Dudley, who was handed a £7.6million pay package.
TUC leader Frances O’Grady said: “Since David Cameron became Prime Minister, the average wage is worth £2,500 less a year – the worst fall in living standards since Queen Victoria. But it’s been a different story for those at top. While millions of hard-working families have been forced to make do with less, City executives have become ever more feather-nested.”