While the average annual wage of a UK worker has risen almost four-fold since 1980 to £25,900, top salaries have “spiralled alarmingly to stratospheric levels” in some of the country’s biggest companies, claims the High Pay Commission.
John Varley, the former chief executive of Barclays, earned £4,365,636 – 169 times the average income and a rise of 4899.4% since 1980 when the top wage in Barclays was just 13 times the UK average.
In another example, the chief executive in the now part state-owned Lloyds Bank has seen his pay increase by 3141.6% to £2,572,000 over the same period – 75 times the average Lloyds employee – when in 1980 it was just 13.6 times the average.
Top executive pay in Britain has spiralled out of control with increases over the past 30 years of more than 4000%. The report points out that in 1979 the top 10% took home 28% of the national income. By 2007 they took home 40%. It projects that by 2035 the top 0.1% of British workers will take home 14% of the national income – equivalent to the situation in Victorian times.