2023 in review

Read our review of 2023, and a summary of our reports, articles and media coverage below

It’s been another year of political drama, division and chaos, with concerns around inflation and the pressure this puts on public services being a recurrent theme.

Whilst inflation has fallen from its peak, meaning Rishi Sunak can say he has met his target of halving inflation, the current 3.9% figure remains at almost double the Banks of England’s 2% target.

High interest rates continue to put a squeeze on mortgage holders, corporate investment and those on fixed incomes.

Whilst the inflation shock might be fading, the cost of living crisis is far from over, with many of the price rises having been baked in.

This has contributed to continued significant industrial action, largely concentrated in the public and transport sectors, where unionisation rates are highest. Whilst there have been some settlements, many disputes remain unsolved.

Despite the complaints about pay and conditions from ordinary workers across various sectors, there has also been complaints over pay of CEO – and not in the way you might expect, with Julia Hoggett – CEO of the London Stock Exchange – sparking controversy by warning that UK CEOs are paid too little by international standards. Meanwhile the Financial Conduct Authority went ahead with announcing the scrapping of the cap on bankers’ bonuses, first promised by the Truss government last year.

Analyses of inequality and high pay underscored that the economic pain was not distributed evenly. Indeed, our report found that pay inequalities at UK’s largest companies remain constant, despite the ‘cost of living’ crisis.

In difficult economic circumstances, how we share the wealth we do have becomes increasingly important.

With an election due next year, hopefully low pay and inequality will sit more squarely on the agenda.


High Pay Centre analysis of FTSE 350 pay ratios Pay inequalities at UK’s largest companies remain constant, despite ‘cost of living’ crisis

High Pay Centre ‘Corporate Governance Code’ consultation submission Our response to the Financial Reporting Council’s consultation on the Corporate Governance Code

Analysis of CEO Pay in 2022 Our annual analysis of CEO pay at UK listed companies found that median FTSE 100 CEO pay increased from £3.38m in 2021 to £3.91m in 2022

The value of people expertise on corporate boards CIPD research supported by the High Pay Centre shows a lack of people expertise on the boards of the UK’s largest listed companies

Who Won? Who Lost? The Distributional Impact of COVID-19 Government Support for Business New research from Aston University supported by the High Pay Centre examines how different stakeholders at the UK’s largest businesses – board executives, shareholders, and workers – fared during and after the peak of the pandemic

Blogs and OpEds

5 Key Takeaways from the FTSE CEO Pay Report 2022 by Rosie Neville

What we learnt from this year’s Tax List by Andrew Speke

Why workforce reporting matters – investors care, and companies should too by Harry Window

High Pay Centre in the media

Policies which please the City are unlikely to be the ones which solve the UK’s economic ails – Our reaction to the scrapping of the cap on bankers’ bonuses

CEO pay increased by £500k in 2022 – the reaction – Front page coverage for HPC’s annual CEO pay report as FTSE 100 pay increased by 16% in 2022

Controversy over London Stock Exchange Head calls for higher CEO pay – HPC research and commentary cited in debate about top pay

Britain’s highest paid CEO gets a pay cut – Our reaction to Denise Coates’ pay cut, which would still leave her as one of the best paid CEOs in the world

FTSE 100 CEOs paid in less than 3 days what a typical UK worker is paid in a year Media coverage of High Pay Hour 2023