Fat cat Scots earn £55m between them

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The 35 best paid executives in Scotland earn 40 times as much as the average worker and 77 times as much as the lowest paid

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13th October 2015 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Scotland’s richest executives are paid £55 million between them, with an average salary of £1.6 million each.

New High Pay Centre analysis finds evidence of huge pay gaps between ordinary workers and top executives in Scotland.

35 executives at some of Scotland’s biggest companies took home a total of £55 million last year, according to new research published by the think-tank.

The research is likely to keep the issue of income inequality high on the Scottish political agenda ahead of the SNP’s party conference in Aberdeen this week.

Fatcat pay is most closely associated with the City of London, but dysfunctional and disproportionate pay gaps between executives and ordinary workers are also a big problem in Scotland

The High Pay Centre analysed figures published in the most recent annual report of the 12 Scottish-headquartered businesses (excluding investment trusts) included on the FTSE 350 index of theUK’s largest listed companies. The think-tank found that outgoing Standard Life chief executive David Nish was the highest paid Scottish boss, with a pay package of £5.5 million in 2014.

Average pay for the 35 executives disclosed in the annual reports was £1.6 million. Median pay, at £1.1 million was slightly lower, but still 40 times as much as the £27,045 earned by the median full-time Scottish worker and roughly 77 times as much as a worker on the minimum wage.

High Pay Centre director Deborah Hargreaves said: "Fatcat pay is most closely associated with the City of London, but dysfunctional and disproportionate pay gaps between executives and ordinary workers are also a big problem in Scotland.

"Of course we need to raise living standards by growing the economy, but it’s also vital to share what we already have a little bit more fairly.

"The SNP’s current dominance of Scottish politics gives them an opportunity to set an example to the rest of the UK in this respect."

The High Pay Centre is running a fringe event at the SNP conference on Thursday focusing on fairer pay.

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