THE row over executive pay was reignited today after it emerged that rewards for blue-chip bosses rose 12% to an average of £4.8 million last year.
The remuneration for chief executives in 2011 far outweighed the 1% average rise for their employees and came despite a 5% fall in the FTSE 100 Index, according to a report by proxy voting agency Manifest and remuneration consultancy MM&K.
A quarter of bosses enjoyed a hike of more than 41%, with Barclays boss Bob Diamond the top earner after securing total realisable remuneration of nearly £21 million.
The findings will fan the flames over executive pay following the so-called Shareholder Spring, which has already seen numerous rebellions over remuneration plans.
Business Secretary Vince Cable is currently drawing up plans to give greater power to shareholders but is understood to be considering watering down proposals for a binding annual vote in favour of a poll every three years.
The report revealed that basic salaries of FTSE 100 chiefs rose 2.5% but total earnings were boosted by deferred bonuses and long-term awards.