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Fat Cat Friday: FTSE 100 bosses earn more in 3 days than average worker’s annual salary

Fat Cat Friday: FTSE 100 bosses earn more in 3 days than average worker’s annual salary
Chief executives of the UK’s top companies are being paid 133 times more than the average British worker’s annual salary, according to new research for “Fat Cat Friday.”

A report has found that by 1pm on the third working day of the year (Friday 4 January), FTSE 100 chief execs would have been paid as much as average workers will earn for the whole of 2019 – taking them two hours fewer than last year.

The study, carried out by the High Pay Centre think tank and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), shows that the average FTSE 100 top boss is paid just over £1,000 an hour, compared with the national living wage of £7.83 for adults aged 25 and over.

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Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Centre, said: "Excessive executive pay represents a massive corporate governance failure and is a barrier to a fairer economy."

Their calculation is based on the analysis of FTSE 100 public reports which reveal that top bosses are rewarded with median annual earnings of £3.9m – an increase of 11 percent on 2018. Meanwhile, median earnings for full-time workers is £29,574, with the report saying that for the majority of workers, “real pay levels are still behind what they were in 2008.”

Unions and politicians have been quick to condemn the findings. TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said the UK government needs to carry out a major reform of the economy to address the huge inequalities in pay.

O’Grady told The Evening Standard: “We need to redesign the economy to make it fair again and that means big reforms to bring fat cat pay back down to earth."

Others took to social media to express their anger at what they see as the unfair excesses of top executive pay.

Not everyone has been upset by the findings, with Mark Littlewood, the General Director of the right-wing, free-market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs, defending CEO’s high pay, insisting they deserve it.

Littlewood told The Independent: “The concept of ‘super talent’ is no myth. In our globalized economy, CEOs’ roles are indeed becoming more important as their decisions can make or break a company – and determine the fate of thousands of people’s jobs.”

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