Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/311/11679
End Fat Cat Rule
FORMER ICI boss and management guru John Harvey-Jones calls huge fat-cat executive pay "obscene and unnecessary." But the fat cats ignore this rebuke from a fellow boss - they're sneering all the way to the bank.
Senior directors of Britain's top companies got an average 23% rise last year, making them 84% better-paid over the last three years, despite a slump on the stock markets.
The average pay of a chief executive - including bonuses, share options and incentives, is now well over £1.6 million a year.
A Guardian survey shows a record 190 directors of companies in the FTSE-100 were paid over £1 million last year. One director, BHP mining boss Brian Gilbertson, got a gold mine of his own with a total pay deal worth £9.1 million, then had a row with the board and left with a £16 million departure gift.
New City of London guidelines say directors should "take account of shop-floor pay" when giving themselves huge increases. But many ordinary employees are being made redundant through the failings of their system, while average earnings are up just 3% and take home pay is in reality declining (see article below).
Pampered fat cats get huge signing-on fees - James Nicol of Tomkins received nearly £2 million. They then get golden goodbyes like Gilbertson's when they go.
They get huge pension pots - Sir Richard Sykes of GKN has built up £15 million to help him survive when he retires.
They get share options which could make them rich if their company does well - Matt Barrett of Barclays got well over £11 million worth of Barclays' shares - he's not likely to get a stroppy letter from his bank manager.
Fat-cat pay at a time when workers are facing the dole and/or reduced wages is just the clearest sign of an unequal capitalist system which creates terrible poverty in the midst of wealth worldwide.
Join our battle for a socialist alternative to remove society from the rule of fat-cat capitalists and their political defenders and run it to meet people's needs.
In The Socialist 9 August 2003: