Business secretary Vince Cable has warned big companies that the government would be pressed to introduce legislation on executive pay unless they can get pay rises for senior managers under control, the Financial Times reports.
According to the paper, Mr Cable has written to chairmen of remuneration committees at companies in the FTSE 100 warning that pressure for government action could “inevitably result” unless firms do more to curb executive pay rises.
Mr Cable’s warning comes in advance of Barclays’ annual meeting, at which investors are expected to protest against this year’s 10 per cent bonus increase at the bank, which came despite profits before tax plummeting by one-third.
Mr Cable said in his letter: “Excessive and disproportionate pay in the corporate sector damages popular trust in business and threatens to undermine business’ licence to operate.”
According to the Guardian, a record number of remuneration reports were voted down by shareholders of large firms two years ago.
This year will see the first annual general meetings since Mr Cable introduced rules giving shareholders a binding vote on pay policies.
Gov’t debt piles up despite austerity
Despite years of austerity measures, the Office of National Statistics will show that Britain has built up its fifth largest budget deficit on record, the Daily Mail reports.
According to the Mail, the ONS will report that the government borrowed approximately £110bn in 2013/14, with spending surpassing tax revenues.
However, the paper points out that the deficit has in fact fallen every year under the Coalition government after reaching a record £157bn under Labour in 2009/10.
‘No limit’ to Ukip spending, says donor
Multimillionaire Paul Sykes will donate “whatever it takes” to the United Kingdom Independence Party in the run-up to next year’s general election, the FT reports.
Worth an estimated £400m, Mr Sykes appeared beside Ukip party leader Nigel Farage in Sheffield for the launch of the party’s campaign for May’s European elections.
Mr Sykes quit the Conservative party in the 1990s over Europe, said he has spent up to £1.4m on campaigning, including posters which some criticise as racist.
One billboard says: “26m people are looking for work, and whose job are they after?”
14% of boys will not live to retirement in 135 British towns
According to official figures, at least one in seven baby boys will not live to draw their pension in 135 British towns and cities, the Telegraph reports.
The report by the ONS comes despite increases in overall life expectancy.
However, the ONS reports that one in four boys born in Glasgow, Blackpool and Dundee and one in five from Belfast, Burnley and Liverpool will not survive to the age of 65.
The paper suggests this points to areas in the UK where underprivileged families are facing a life expectancy which lags decades behind the rest of the country.