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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 December 2006, 00:02 GMT
Top bosses' salaries 'race away'
Top bosses have seen their wages and pensions rocket higher
Top executive salaries at FTSE 100 firms have risen seventeen times faster than their workers' pay, the TUC says.

Taking inflation into account, executive salaries have more than doubled since 2000, the TUC calculated.

At the same time, non-executives saw their salaries rise about 6%, once inflation was factored-in.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said the widening gap between bosses and staff could have "a divisive effect on society and harm the economy".

Pension difference

Should we not be worried that there is a growing group of people who are rich enough to float free from the rest of society?
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary

Mr Barber added that as well as higher pay executives enjoyed more lucrative pensions on more generous terms.

For example, many top executives have the option of retiring at 60 and enjoy access to final-salary schemes.

Final-salary schemes pay a fixed proportion of annual salary as a pension for every year of service.

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of workers have found their workplace final-salary schemes replaced by less lucrative money purchase pensions.

In contrast, the TUC calculated that top bosses had amassed pensions worth 1bn in recent years.

"This is at a time when many have been happy to cut the pensions of their own staff, and been ready to condemn the government for not cutting the pension built up by public servants such as nurses and school meals staff."

Mick Davis, Xstrata: 14.9m
Richard Segal, PartyGaming: 11.3m
Tony Trahar, Anglo American: 6.4m
Stanley Fink, Man Group: 6m
Jean-Pierre Garnier, GSK: 5.6m
Source: Guardian/RTF pay database (October 2006)

Mr Barber added that there was a "moral dimension" to the growing wage and benefits gap between top staff and non-executives, a pattern repeated in the US.

"Should we not be worried that there is a growing group of people who are rich enough to float free from the rest of society? Is this not socially divisive?"

The TUC's findings mirror those of a survey, performed by Deloitte for the Guardian, measuring overall compensation for directors at the UK's 350 biggest public firms.

It showed that pay packages of the people running Britain's top firms rose by 28% in 2005.

This compare with average gains for workers across the UK of about 3.7%, and inflation of 3%.

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