The chief executives who volunteer for pay cuts

Also in our Barometer column: the cost of tax evasion, the lives of farm animals, and aid for tax havens

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

Boss cuts

The chief executive of the Co-operative Group, Richard Pennycock, asked for a pay cut, saying his job had got easier now that the business is more steady — not to mention smaller. His basic pay will fall from £1.25m to £750,000 and his overall pay will drop 60%. Some other bosses who have recently taken pay cuts:
— Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent took a 42% pay cut last year, with his overall package falling from $25.2m to $14.6m.
— Cressida Pollock, CEO of English National Opera, took a 30% pay cut last September, partly in return for her job being made permanent.
— Simon Potter, chief executive of Bahamas Petroleum, this month deferred 90% of his pay so the company could continue to invest in spite of low oil prices.
— Isis fighters have all had their pay cut by 50%, according to documents obtained by the Middle East Forum in January. It was said that there would be no exceptions, suggesting bosses took a cut too.

Evasive answers

How much does tax evasion cost the government? Some estimates:
£70bn Public and Commercial Services Union, 2012
£82bn Richard Murphy,, September 2014
£16bn HMRC, December 2015

The lives of animals

The government backtracked on plans to repeal farm animal welfare codes. How truncated are the lives of farm animals?

Slaughtered at
Broiler chickens 5-7 wks
Pigs 4-6 mths
Lamb 3-10 mths
Veal calves 4-6 mths
Beef cattle 12-18 mths


Natural lifespan
Broiler chickens 7 yrs
Pigs 10-12 yrs
Lamb 15 yrs
Veal calves 20-25 yrs
Beef cattle 20-25 yrs


Helping havens

A reminder of some of the ways in which the British taxpayer helps fund tax havens:
— The British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands are eligible to a share of €40m set aside by the European Development Fund for sustainable energy and marine biodiversity in the Caribbean. Both are also eligible for support under the £7m a year Overseas Territories Programme Fund, and can each send four patients a year to be treated under the NHS.
— The Turks and Caicos Islands received a £160m loan from the UK after it went bankrupt in 2009.
— Montserrat received £19.2m of aid from Dfid in 2015/16.

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