The incomes of the bosses of Britain’s biggest companies have risen twice as fast as inflation this year, according to a survey by PwC, fueling criticism amid a cost-of-living crisis. In a context of inflation of more than 10% in the UK, these amounts could be “distributed more equallyLuke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Center think tank, told AFP on Tuesday.
The increase in income is mainly boosted by the increase in bonuses after “reopening businesses and the return of demand after the pandemicsays Andrew Page, chief compensation specialist at PwC. The average income of the bosses of the FTSE 100, which includes the 100 largest valuations on the London Stock Exchange, rose from 3.2 million pounds to 3.9 million (4.5 million euros, +22%) for the financial year 2021-2022, noted PwC in a press release on Monday. Executive compensation had fallen during the pandemic following cuts or freezes in salaries and bonuses, voluntarily or under pressure from investors. But it has since reversed sharply, returning to its pre-pandemic level, according to several studies. PwC notes a drop in the proportion of these big managers affected by a pay freeze, down from 43% in 2021 to 15% in 2022.
Next year the question of remunerationshould receive closer scrutiny from investors, especially against the backdrop of rising inflation and wage increases across the workforcepredicts Andrew Page. “Over the past decade, investors have become stricter about executive compensationand FTSE 100 companies rarely pay their chief executives more than onerange from 3 to 4 million poundsannually, adds Mr. Hildyard of the High Pay Centre. But”that still equates to paying (the bosses) more than 100 times the average UK worker’s wage«, he asserts. Strikes have been mounting for months in the UK to demand better wages in the face of massive price rises. A strike by rail workers was suspended last week by one of the sector’s main unions after progress in negotiations.