Research finds value of ‘long-term incentive plans’ rose by 81% from median of £519,625 last year to £938,888

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Unions have accused the directors of some of Britain’s biggest companies of building up their earnings ‘by stealth’ as the pay of millions of workers is frozen and falling against inflation.

(Graphic courtesy of Incomes Data Services)

Research by the respected Incomes Data Services on the incomes of FTSE 100 directors, published today, found growth in their salaries and bonuses has almost halted over the last year, yet their earnings from ‘long-term incentive plans’ in the form of shares has risen by an average of 10%.

IDS says across all FTSE 100 directors, the value of such incentive plans rose by 81% from a median of £519,625 in 2011 to £938,888 this year.

For chief executives, the value of these share plans reached a median of £1.6m.

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said: “Britain’s boardrooms are finding even more devious ways to squeeze even more cash from their companies.

“Wages for many working people have stagnated since 2003 and have fallen in real terms since the recession hit, but the richest have continued to pull ahead.

“The top 10% have 12 times more income than the bottom 10%.

“Scandalously, Britain has the fastest-growing income inequality compared to other developed countries.

“What is particularly sickening is that some of the companies may be performing poorly, but the cash registers are always ringing for these directors.

“The directors have cottoned on that their institutional shareholders, the media and the public have had enough of the outrageous pay headlines, so the accountants have got to work to devise these ‘incentive plans’ to disguise the bosses’ long-term earnings.

“It is time for George ‘We are all in this together’ Osborne to rein in his pals in the City and ensure that UK boardrooms show restraint.”

The IDS research comes as campaigners this week step up calls for a living wage set at £7.45 per hour across the UK to be legally enforced.

The National Minimum Wage currently standing at £6.19 per hour for people over 21 years old. A London living wage is set at £8.55 per hour,

UNISON general secretary, Dave Prentis, said: “The Government is guilty of allowing the gap between the rich at the top and those at the bottom to grow.

“It has used the recession to hold down wages in the public sector and cut jobs and services, while those at the top continue to enjoy a champagne lifestyle.

“It is time to close that gap by bringing the minimum wage into line with the living wage.

“It is clearly ridiculous that taxpayers are landed with a bill of between £6bn and £7bn a year for in-work benefits because scrooge bosses are lining their own pockets.”


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