During a cost-of-living crisis in the UK in which ordinary people are grappling with how to pay for growing prices of basic commodities like as food and energy on their salaries, the CEOs of UK’s most renowned corporations brought home average pay rises of almost 4 million pounds ($5 million) each in 2022.
According to the High Pay Centre think tank, the typical chief executive officer of FTSE 100 businesses was paid 118 times the median full-time worker in the United Kingdom in 2018, up from 108 times in 2021. According to the centre, FTSE 350 businesses paid 570 executives 1.3 billion pounds ($1.7 billion).
Workers’ unions slammed the findings, claiming that the UK has devolved into “a land of grotesque extremes.”
“While millions of UK families have seen their budgets shredded by the cost-of-living crisis,” said Trade Union Congress General Secretary Paul Nowak, “city directors have enjoyed bumper pay rises.”
“At a time when so many households are struggling with living costs, an economic model that prioritises a half-million-pound [$637,000] pay rise for executives who are already multimillionaires is surely going wrong somewhere,” said Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Centre.
“We need to give workers more say on corporate boards, strengthen trade union rights, and give low- and middle-income earners a fairer share in comparison to those at the top.”
According to the report, Pascal Soriot, CEO of the UK pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, was the highest paid employee in the company, earning 16.6 million pounds ($21.5 million).
The second highest earning was Charles Woodburn, CEO of the British defence corporation BAE Systems, who made 10.7 million pounds ($13.6 million).
According to the analysis, the average salary for a FTSE 100 CEO will rise from 3.4 million pounds ($4.3 million) in 2021 to 3.9 million pounds ($5 million) in 2022.
Official numbers show that workers received 7.8 percent wage increases on average from April to June compared to the previous year. Taking inflation into account, the increases were 0.6 percent.
Several British public sectors, ranging from junior doctors and teachers to rail workers and bus drivers, have gone on strike in the last year because their pay have remained stagnant despite the economic downturn.
Despite the fact that UK inflation is hanging around 6.8 percent, down from 7.8 percent in June, the Kingdom just reported the largest price increases within the Group of Seven, a group of seven countries that are among the world’s wealthiest and longest industrial powers.
To combat inflation, the Bank of England has raised its benchmark interest rate more than a dozen times in a row.