Top bosses' pay far outstrips inflation

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TOP directors are receiving pay rises of between three and four times the inflation rate despite three years of recession, according to a survey of more than 400 big companies, writes Barrie Clement.

The average cash increase enjoyed by members of main boards amounted to 13.3 per cent, with basic salaries rising 12.4 per cent, Hay Management Consultants found. While cash rises were lower for directors of subsidiaries and senior managers, basic salary increases were similar.

The figures, reported in the monthly review published by Incomes Data Services' Top Pay Unit, refer to the 12 months to July when the annual increase in the retail price index stood at 3.7 per cent, compared with the inflation rate of 3 per cent. In the year to July the average increase in income for all workers was less than 5 per cent.

While Hay agrees that boardroom pay rises remain 'relatively high', researchers point out that increases are lower than a year ago, and that a sixth of directors received no increase on basic salary.