British rich getting richer

This video is called It’s growing: the gap between rich and poor in the US & UK.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Tale of two Britains

(Friday 06 June 2008)

THE gap between rich and poor seems to be the only thing that is growing – excepting, of course, company profits – in Britain’s wildly unequal economy.

Take, for example, Marks & Spencer, in popular perception a benevolent and kindly employer. And it’s quite true, if you happen to be on top of the heap.

Our friendly high-street retailer rejigged its non-contributory pension scheme last year by giving its 26,000 current staff the unenviable choice of either starting to put around 7 per cent of their wages as contributions to the kitty or facing a reduced rate of benefits accrual.

On Friday, however, the company reduced the growth target which triggers top executives’ socking great bonuses.

Previously, chief executive Sir Stuart Rose, who collected his knighthood last week, would have had to achieve 12 per cent growth above the rate of inflation over three years in order to trigger his 400 per cent of salary bonus, worth a cool £4.2 million plus.

Now, he only has to achieve 8 per cent to trouser that nice little earner, to add to his £1.13 million annual salary and some rather juicy share options.

Sir Stuart received a £80,000 pay rise in January, taking his base salary to £1.13m.

At the same time, marketing director Steve Sharp has received a £40,000 rise to £565,000 and finance director Ian Dyson saw his salary rise from £525,000 to £675,000. It’s certainly nice at the top in that firm, if a little chilly down below.

And Aviva, the insurance giant which owns Norwich Union, has a fairly similar pot boiling.

On Friday, the bosses announced job losses of around 1,800 out of its 30,000 workforce and that’s just a minimum, with the company expecting hundreds more to up stakes and follow the remaining jobs to wherever they are relocated, a prospect that the Unite union describes as “inconceivable.”

And that’s on top of 4,000 job cuts last year, at a time when the firm raised its interim dividend by 10 per cent.

2 thoughts on “British rich getting richer

  1. See also:

    MPs “not told” about Norwich Union departure

    Worthing MP Peter Bottomley said he knew nothing about Norwich Union’s decision to axe 660 jobs and leave its Broadwater office.
    Mr Bottomley, MP for Worthing West, said neither he nor East Worthing MP Tim Loughton had been spoken to before today’s shock announcement.

    “It is a shock and a tragedy,” said Mr Bottomley. “First of all, I haven’t heard officially. In the past, Norwich Union would talk to me in advance even if they were making changes that didn’t affect Worthing.

    “I deeply regret we haven’t been consulted or informed in advance.

    “This is a devastating blow to the staff. Many of them will have made their plans on the basis they could rely on the assurance of future employment at The Warren.

    “It’s bad for Worthing.”

    “I hope that if Norwich Union do close there, that it will go on being a site for employment, rather than move to housing.”

    Mr Bottomley’s sentiments were echoed by Worthing Council chief executive Ian Lowrie, who said: “We are all shocked and very disappointed that they are closing and the council will do everything it can to protect Worthing’s economy.”

    Lib Dem shadow cabinet member for regeneration, Bob Smytherman, has called for an urgent cross-party meeting to discuss how the council can help those affected by the news.


  2. Pingback: Britain, riches, poverty and the Murdoch empire | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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