A new report has revealed that FTSE 100 chief executives are paid 183 times more than full-time workers, earning an average salary of nearly £5 million a year. As Ivor Bennett reports, the research has prompted calls for further reform of executive pay.
London - a skyline of contrasts, with pay packets to match. A new report has found that CEOs in the FTSE 100 were paid an average of almost 5 million pounds last year. 183 times more than the average salary of a full-time UK employee. Deborah Hargreaves from the High Pay Centre helped put the report together. SOUNDBITE (English) DEBORAH HARGREAVES, DIRECTOR, HIGH PAY CENTRE, SAYNG: "I mean you can't possibly spend this amount of money. What are you going to do with it? You know, it's something that had to just be seen for what it is. Just pure greed." Companies say it's needed to attract the best people. WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell was top of the list. With a pay packet worth almost 43 million pounds. Not everyone though is against it. SOUNDBITE (English) UNIDENTIFIED MAN, SAYING: "A responsible job deserves a well-paid package." SOUNDBITE (English) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN, SAYING: "OK they may have the responsibility, but overall you've got the people on the coal face doing the actual hard work." SOUNDBITE (English) UNIDENTIFIED MAN, SAYING: "Depends on the value they're adding right? Perhaps they're creating that many jobs. Maybe it's fully justified." Ultimately, it's up to shareholders - who since 2013 have had a binding vote on directors' pay But the High Pay centre thinks the reforms don't go far enough, calling for employees to have a say too. FxPro's Simon Smith. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIMON SMITH, CHIEF ECONOMIST, FXPRO, SAYING: "Once you start taking an activist measure and sort of meddling in these affairs on a sort of micro-level, it's never ultimately going to be good for business and business would move elsewhere to a freer regime. So I think we have to have a careful balance there." For those who disagree, there is some comfort. The pay gap in the UK is still only half that of the U.S. where top bosses earn 360 times more than the average worker.