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A portrait of Britain: 10 facts, 10 key issues on 10.10.10

To aid David Cameron's call for 'a big conversation' on what's really fair, we select 10 key areas and highlight anomalies we all should consider

Compiled,Jonathan Owen,Pavan Amara,Tom Peck
Sunday 10 October 2010 00:00 BST

Bankers' bonuses

25 per cent rise in bonus payments in 2010 – payments between December 2009 and April this year reached £10.1bn, compared with £7.8bn the previous year

Bonuses earned by the FTSE 100's highest paid directors in 2009/10 totalled about 120 per cent of their salaries, up from 90 per cent last year

100+ bankers at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) paid a bonus of at least £1m in 2009

£1.3bn given in bonus payments by RBS last year

£20.5bn combined earnings for the bonus season in 2009/10, compared with £24bn at the height of the boom in 2007

£356,000 average package, including bonuses, for Goldman Sachs staff this year – up from £196,000 in 2008

£3.5bn raised by payroll tax levied on bonuses of more than £25,000

£2.3bn paid in bonuses to Barclays investment bankers this year

1,000+ City workers are paid £1m or more a year, according to Sir David Walker, senior adviser to US investment giant Morgan Stanley

£4m bonus given to Michael Geoghegan, group chief executive of HSBC, this year – on top of a £1m+ salary

Executive pay

The average FTSE 100 boss earns 128 times the average salary of their employees, up from a ratio of 47:1 in 2000

900:1 was the ratio between Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy's salary and that of the average Tesco worker in 2008

£92.6m compensation package of Bart Becht, chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser last year – making him 2009's highest paid FTSE 100 director

£3.76m was the size of the average FTSE 100 chief executive's pay package last year

£4m+ salary awarded to former BP chairman Tony Hayward in 2009 – announced just weeks before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. His pay rose from £2.85m the year before

6 per cent average increase in FTSE 100 chief executive pay in 2009

14.6 per cent rise in fees of chairmen of FTSE 100 remuneration committees – those supposed to guard against boardroom excess – in 2009/10

£4.85m pay package for Dame Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of international media company Pearson, in 2009, making her the highest-paid woman in the FTSE 100

£203,191 average pay of chief executives of companies on the Alternative Investment Market

£620,000 "golden hello" given to Adam Crozier, ITV chief executive, in addition to a salary and benefits package of £860,000 a year

Executive severance

£20m+ estimated severance package for HSBC chief executive when he leaves next year

£12m package for Tony Hayward, and a non-executive place on the board of BP's Russian joint venture TNK-BP, on stepping down as BP chief executive earlier this year

£9.5m spent on severance packages for 37 council chief executives over the two- and-a-half years to September 2009. The average package cost £250,000, but three cost more than £500,000

£703,00 pension drawn each year from a pot of £16m by disgraced former RBS chief Sir Fred Goodwin, who posted the largest annual loss in UK corporate history, £24.1bn

£21.7m record payout awarded to Nomura's European chief executive Sadeq Sayeed, the mastermind of the company's raid on Lehman

£19.1bn pension pot of HSBC boss Stephen Green who leaves in December to become a trade minister for the Government

£2.5m paid to former England football boss Steve McClaren after being sacked

£1,051,202 paid to former Labour ministers after the 2010 general election. Ministers are entitled to receive a severance payment equal to three months of their annual salary

£6m+ severance package given to Northern Rock chief executive Adam Applegarth when he quit in 2007

£50,000+ public sector severance packages have to be signed off by the Treasury

Public sector pensions

£7,800 average public sector pension pension

3.2m+ public sector pensions

£35bn annual cost of public sector pensions

£5bn annual saving if the pension age increased from 60 to 65 for public sector workers

40 per cent of final salary is what the average public sector pension is worth

94 per cent of public sector workers are on defined benefit or final salary schemes, compared with 11 per cent of private sector staff

£400 yearly predicted cost to every household in Britain of funding the pensions of public sector workers

12m+ people are entitled to a public sector pension

700,000 increase in public sector pensioners over the past decade – a 27 per cent rise

2,300+ NHS staff receive pensions worth more than £67,000 a year

Unmotivated claimants

100,000+ benefits claimants have four or more children

1,050 families on benefits have eight or more children

5.9 million families on benefits

0.7 per cent of benefit payments are fraudulent, claims Community Links charity

50,000 households in Britain (out of about 25 million) are expected to be affected by the new cap to benefits payments

500,000+ people on incapacity benefit could be moved on to the dole over the next few years, according to Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary

23 per cent of claimants of incapacity benefits are expected not to qualify for the employment and support allowance – a scheme being piloted this year and due to start in full next April

120,000 decrease in the number of people on incapacity benefits between 2005 and 2009

2.47 million jobless people in Britain

286,000 people found work in the quarter to July, the biggest increase since records began in 1971

Telephone number salaries

£130,000 Wayne Rooney's weekly earnings at Manchester United

£18m three-year pay deal given to Jonathan Ross by the BBC in 2006

38,000 public sector workers earn more than £100,000 a year

£940,000 annual salary of BBC's Jeremy Paxman, according to a leaked BBC document in 2006

£475,500 annual salary for unnamed GP in Hillingdon Primary Care Trust

£232,500 annual salary of an unnamed teacher in Essex

£280,489 salary paid to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson

£838,000 salary package of BBC Director-General Mark Thompson

£299,925 paid to Gerald Jones, the chief executive of Wandsworth council, each year

£142,500 salary for Prime Minister David Cameron

Baby boomers

800,000+ baby boomers will reach retirement age in 2012

£14bn increase in annual pensions bill since the first baby boomers started to draw their state pension at the age of 60 in 2005

£775bn in property owned by Britain's pensioners

£47.50 would be the cost of a chicken if food costs had risen at the rate that house prices have over 40 years

£3,500bn combined wealth of 45- to65-year-olds

£900bn combined wealth of those under 45

4 per cent more in average earnings by 50- to 59-year-olds compared with 25- to 29-year-olds in 1974

38 per cent earnings gap between 50- to 59-year-olds and 25- to 29-year-olds in 2008

£236,654 average value of homes among the over-55s – almost 30 per cent higher than the UK-wide average

64 per cent of annual income now needed for the average first-time buyer's deposit – up from 16 per cent a decade ago

Sex equality

45 per cent less an hour earned by women working part-time compared with a man working full-time

85 per cent of those studying engineering or technology at degree level are male

11 per cent of women are employed in managerial or senior positions, compared with 18 per cent of men

85 per cent of women workers believe there is a bias towards male workers in the workplace

57 years until women's pay equals that of men's, according to the Chartered Management Institute

30,000 women a year are dismissed or forced out of their jobs because they are pregnant

7 per cent of top police officers are women

23 per cent of civil service top management are women

8 in 10 women starting new jobs are paid lower average salaries than men in the same position

22 per cent of women have a persistent low income, compared with 14 per cent of men


1 in 10 academics from British universities come from outside the EU

28 per cent of initial Home Office decisions on individual asylum applications were overturned by the courts in 2009

£2.6bn is paid into the Treasury by people born outside the UK, including refugees and asylum-seekers

10 per cent more is paid into the Treasury than taken out by people born outside the UK, including refugees and asylum-seekers

1,200 medically qualified refugees are on the British Medical Association's database

754 refugee teachers are registered with London-based agencies alone

30,000+ jobs have been created in Leicester alone by the Ugandan Asian refugees who settled in the city during the 1970s

61 per cent of employers who employed migrants said they filled a lack of that specific skill in the British workforce

10.2 per cent of all income tax comes from immigrants, despite them making up 8.7 per cent of the UK population

92.1 per cent of jobs were held by British workers at the end of 2009

Universal benefits

30 million people in the UK receive income from at least one social security benefit

7.5 million+ families claim child benefit

12,123,000 people claim winter fuel payments

£2.7bn is spent on winter fuel payments each year

12,226,260 people get a basic state pension

20+ benefits are not means tested, out of a total of more than 50 welfare benefits

11 million people over 60 get free off-peak travel

£1bn yearly cost of providing free bus passes to pensioners

£4.3bn annual cost of child benefit

£510m is spent on free television licences for pensioners each year

Welfare ghettos

It is a warning from history, and a chilling spectre of what might happen to swathes of urban Britain if recession and economic austerity begin to leave people behind.

In the cradle of the Co-operative Movement, the Central and Falinge ward has forged its place in history as the worst "welfare ghetto" in England and Wales.

The urban sprawl in the heart of Rochdale has the highest proportion of benefits claimants in the country. Some 865 of the 1,030 working-age residents claim benefits – at 84 per cent, its claimant population is fully 12 per cent higher than the second on the national list.

But it is not just about worklessness: Falinge has one of the lowest average life expectancies in the UK, and a higher proportion of incapacity benefit claimants than anywhere else in England. In 2008, the Conservatives put it at the top of a league table of "pockets of deprivation". The council pointed out the problems with health, housing and jobs – and, ironically, the Government provided money to help. But Central and Falinge remains marooned.

Most residents remain – many because they cannot get out. According to a bailiff, who at one time lived in Falinge, they have instead developed their own parallel economy, partly working for drugs gangs or for cash in hand, while continuing to claim their benefits.

"The ambition is there but it's not to get a job or move out. It's to get benefits," he said. "And there is a definite career path. You or I would aim to get a better job. They aim to get a better benefit. Everyone wants 'the sickness' [benefit]; then you've really made it. Everything is taken care of."

In the entrance to the West Street Chapel, a girl squats, and inhales from her crack pipe while her partner hovers unsteadily on the street. Then they hurry away.

Rochdale is preparing for a new shopping centre and a connection to the Manchester Metrolink, but the millions pumped into the town have not prevented conditions from deteriorating.

The mix of deprivation, unemployment, crime, addictions and chronic illness was once a gruesome spectacle for the rest of the country; now it carries disturbing portents of what might happen elsewhere if the cuts programme is not handled properly.

Brian Brady and Ed Howker

For a full report on the UK's 100 worst welfare ghettos, go to

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