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FTSE 100 CEOs take just three days to earn average UK salary

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A study reveals the CEOs of top UK companies earn more in 2024 by Thursday lunchtime than a UK worker's average yearly wage.

The High Pay Centre, a think tank that campaigns for fairer pay for workers, has conducted the research.

The analysis indicates shows by 1pm on the third working day of the year, an FTSE 100 CEO will have earned more per hour than a UK worker's £34,963 median annual salary. 

It comes amid rising concerns over income inequality during strikes and a cost of living crisis

The TUC attributes the widening pay gap to political decisions.

"Bad for business and bad for the economy"

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It advocates for worker representation on company boards, fair wealth taxation, and collaboration between the government, unions, and employers to enhance living standards.

The average pay of CEOs has risen by 9.5 percent since March 2023, outpacing the six percent increase in workers' median pay. 

Financial sector voices argue for increased CEO pay to compete with their counterparts in the US. 

The think tank's calculations also reveal other top earners, like FTSE 350 executives, top lawyers, accountants, and bankers, would surpass the average worker's full-time earnings by early to mid-January. 

The top one percent is projected to exceed average earnings by March 29.

Critics said such income inequality is detrimental to businesses and the economy.

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They called for a more equitable distribution of profits to support a sustainable recovery and increase disposable income for workers. 

The government's decision to lift the EU rule capping bankers' bonuses at 100 percent of their salary in 2023 has further fueled concerns about the disparity in wealth distribution. 

Laurence Turner, the GMB union’s head of research and policy, said: “The widening pay inequality at work is bad for businesses and bad for the economy.

“Instead, of channelling profits to those at the top, we need a sustainable recovery with more money in working people’s pockets.”

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