PAY for top fat cat bosses across the UK leapt by an average of half a million last year while wages for the majority of workers struggled to keep up with inflation.

The average Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) chief executive received £3.91 million in 2022, according to think tank the High Pay Centre.

That figure is up from £3.41 million in 2021 and was the highest for five years. It meant a typical top CEO was paid 118 times more than an average worker in the UK.

Director of the High Pay Centre Luke Hildyard said: “At a time when so many households are struggling with living costs, an economic model that prioritises a half a million pound pay rise for executives who are already multi-millionaires is surely going wrong somewhere.

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“How major employers distribute the wealth that their workforce creates has a big impact on people’s living standards.

“We need to give workers more voice on company boards, strengthen trade union rights and enable low- and middle-income earners to get a fairer share in relation to those at the top.”

General secretary of the Trades Union Congress Paul Nowak said: “While millions of families have seen their budgets shredded by the cost of living crisis, City directors have enjoyed bumper pay rises.

“This is why workers must be given seats on company boards to inject some much-needed common sense and restraint.

“We need an economy that delivers better living standards for all – not just those at the top.

“But under the Tories Britain has become a land of grotesque extremes.”

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According to the High Pay Centre’s analysis, the highest paid FTSE 100 CEO last year was Pascal Soriot of pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca, who scooped £15.32 million.

Including bonuses, he has raked in more than £120 million in the past decade, according to the analysis.

In second place was Charles Woodburn, boss of defence firm BAE System, who received just under £10.7 million.

In third was Albert Manifold of building materials group CRH, with nearly £10.4 million.