Top UK executives will rake in the average national wage in only a few days
Top UK executives will rake in the average national wage in only a few days AFP News

Britain's top bosses earned more in the first few days of 2023 than most ordinary workers will all year, a study showed Thursday, as many grapple with a cost-of-living crisis.

Chief executives of London's FTSE 100-listed firms earn 103 times the median annual wage, the High Pay Centre think-tank said in a report published as workers face decades-high inflation that is eroding salaries.

The average worker takes home ?33,000 ($36,100) per year, which a chief executive earning ?3.41 million pocketed in the first three working days of this year.

The High Pay Centre, which compiled the report using company data and official statistics, called for a more "even" distribution of income.

"In the worst economic circumstances that most people can remember, it is difficult to believe that a handful of top earners are still raking in such extraordinary amounts of money," said director Luke Hildyard.

"The UK economy really cannot afford for such a big share of the wealth that is created by all workers to be captured by such a tiny number of people at the top.

"To address declining living standards for the majority, we need measures to balance the distribution of incomes more evenly."

CEO pay levels soared by 39 percent over the last year -- but the average worker's pay rose by only six percent over the same period.

UK annual inflation stands at around 11 percent, the highest level in decades, largely owing to a surge in global food and energy prices last year.

Paul Nowak, the head of the Trades Union Congress, urged the government "to bring back some fairness on pay."

"Everyone deserves a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. But while working people are told not to ask for more, top pay is soaring," said Nowak.

Britain is currently facing a wave of industrial action, including a walkout by train drivers that crippled railway services on Thursday.