Bosses' pay has more than doubled during the past six years while workers wages have remained virtually static. It has been calculated that for every £100 earned by directors in 2000, they now earn £205 after allowing for inflation. But for employees their £100 has climbed to an average of £106.
In the City this year bonuses are expected to reach a record £9 billion. At Goldman Sachs alone, about 4,000 high-flying investment bankers are expected to receive £1 million each and those in the top grade are likely to get £10 million each.
Goldman Sachs was the centre of the recent cleaners' fight for better pay. The cleaners, many of whom are paid the £5.35-an-hour minimum wage, occupied one of the bank's most prominent sites in the City waving placards reading “Goldman Sucks”.
To rub salt into the wounds the bosses top executives have the option of retiring at 60 and enjoy access to final-salary schemes.
These pay a fixed proportion of annual salary as a pension for every year of service seeing top bosses amassing pensions worth £1bn in recent years. On average the final salary pension is worth nearly £3 million each. The largest directors' pension is worth nearly £5 million over 40 times more than most staff pensions.
In contrast these same fat cats have been happy to cut the pensions of their own staff, and have condemned the government for not cutting the pension built up by public servants such as nurses and school meals staff. Still hundreds of thousands of workers have found their workplace finalsalary schemes replaced by less lucrative money purchase pensions and are facing the prospect of having to work even longer before they can retire.