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UK CEOs got 16 percent pay rise in 2022 as families struggled

FTSE 100

CEOs of the UK’s top companies had their average pay rise by £500,000 in 2022 when workers’ wages were squeezed due to inflation, new research has found.

The High Pay Centre said FTSE 100 CEOs saw a 16 percent increase last year.

This brought their median pay to £3.9 million, up from £3.4 million in 2021. 

Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca's CEO, topped the earnings chart at £15.3 million.

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He was followed by Charles Woodburn, the CEO of BAE Systems, at £10.7 million.


Albert Manifold, CRH's leader, was paid £10.4 million. 

CEOs from major oil and gas companies like BP and Shell also ranked among the highest earners.

The report highlighted the growing pay gap, with the median FTSE 100 CEO earning 118 times the salary of the median UK full-time worker.

It’s up from 108 times in 2021 and 79 times in 2020. 

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average salary for full-time UK workers stands at £33,000.

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"Pay rises for multimillionaires while families struggle"

Luke Hildyard, the director of the High Pay Centre, said: “At a time when so many households are struggling with living costs, an economic model that prioritises a half-a-million-pound pay rise for executives who are already multimillionaires is surely going wrong somewhere.

“How major employers distribute the wealth that their workforce creates has a big impact on people’s living standards. 

“We need to give workers more voice on company boards, strengthen trade union rights and enable low- and middle- income earners to get a fairer share in relation to those at the top.”

CEO pay has rebounded to its highest since 2017 after a slight dip during the pandemic.

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Emma Walmsley, the CEO of GSK, was the only woman in the top 10 highest-paid FTSE 100 CEOs. 

There are only nine female CEOs in the FTSE 100.

The disparity between CEO and worker pay remains stark, with the average CEO earning in just under three days what the average UK worker makes in a year. 

The GMB trade union's analysis revealed that it would take an ambulance call handler nearly 150 years to match a CEO's pay.

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"Workers must be given seats on company boards"

Paul Nowak, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said: “While millions of families have seen their budgets shredded by the cost of living crisis, City directors have enjoyed bumper pay rises.

“This is why workers must be given seats on company boards to inject some much-needed common sense and restraint.

We need an economy that delivers better living standards for all – not just those at the top.

“But under the Tories, Britain has become a land of gross extremes.

As households across the country have struggled to put food on the table, sales of Porsches have hit record levels.”

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