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Directors earn `pounds 3,100 a meeting'

THE CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer Gordon Brown came under fire yesterday from the TUC for urging pay restraint at a time when company directors were awarding themselves rises of 18 per cent compared with 4.5 per cent for the whole workforce. Calls for wage restraint needed to be aimed at a "closed shop" of directors who voted each other "huge" pay increases, and not at other employees, a study by the TUC argued.

Analysts at the TUC found that one group of 11 individuals held 40 non- executive directorships at Britain's top 50 companies. Such directors were appointed by "personal invitation" and attended an average 10 meetings a year for which they were paid pounds 31,000 - half as much again as the average worker receives for a year's work. At pounds 3,100 a meeting they were clearly involved in "lucrative back scratching", the TUC contended.