Jeff Fairburn, the former chief executive of the housebuilder Persimmon, has failed to set up a charity almost two years after pledging to do so in an attempt to assuage public and political anger at his “obscene” £85m bonus. He made the pledge to set up a “private charitable trust” to support good causes in a “meaningful way” in February 2018 in order to deflect anger at the award, which had been reduced from £110m. When he made the pledge to set up a charitable trust Fairburn said: “I am making my plans public and recognise that I should have done so sooner. I am setting up a private charitable trust which I plan to use to benefit wider society over a sustained period of time by supporting, in a very meaningful way, my chosen charities"
Fairburn has not registered a charity with the Charity Commission or made any inquiries about how to set one up, 22 months after he said he would donate a “substantial proportion” of his bonus to a charitable trust. He is also not named as a trustee of any charity in England or Wales. It is not known whether he has donated to any separate existing charity.
Luke Hildyard, who campaigns against excessive executive remuneration at the High Pay Centre, said: “Despite a few high-profile exceptions, rich people are generally quite miserly. Evidence suggests they give a smaller proportion of their income to charity than middle and low earners.