Sunday, October 30, 2011

So Who Is Behind Fatcat Bosses the 49 "Percenters"?

With news that FTSE 100 directors have seen their earnings increase by almost 50 per cent, I done a little digging on the lives behind the faces.

Michael Davis...Xstrata... £18,426,105 million

Michael Davis is number one on the list. Mr Davis is a big financial backer of the Conservative party he gave £150,000 to Conservative party central office over the last 21 months according to Electoral Commission records.

Over the past few months Mr. Davis has also given money to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove who raised £30,000 from donors – one of whom provided money for Dr Liam Fox’s unofficial adviser, Adam Werritty.

Mr Davis, the chief executive of the mining company Xstrata, gave Mr Gove £7,500 to support him “in the capacity as an MP”. Mr Davis has declined to comment.

Gus O'Donnell's report into the Liam Fox affair identified two previously unknown funders of Pargav, the company which paid more than £140,000 towards Werritty's first class flights and five star hotels.

One of these was Mick "the miner" Davis, the boss of the FTSE 100-registered mining company Xstrata and a leading figure in the UK Jewish community.

In June, Davis was among a delegation that included Zabludowicz, the chairman of Bicom, which met the foreign secretary William Hague to discuss the impact of the Arab spring on Israel. Last year Davis was at the centre of a fierce controversy within the UK Jewish community after he made highly critical remarks about the Israeli government.

Bart Becht ...Reckitt Benckiser...CEO...£17,879,000

Number two on the current list endorsed the Conservatives pledge to reverse a planned rise in national insurance. Cameron and Osborne deliberately misled the public in the run up to the 2010 general election, they let people believe that they would halt the planned national insurance rise, but in fact they did this for employers only, national insurance contributions were raised for employees - once again the Tories helping their corporate friends out while making workers pay extra taxes.

Bart Becht the man behind the Cillit Bang kitchen cleaner has shattered British records for executive pay after taking home more than £90m in cash and shares in one year. In addition to crystallising the long-term schemes, Becht received a salary of £987,000, a cash bonus of £3.5m and had £296,000 as a contribution to his pension fund. Becht was granted a further 900,000 options and share-related awards in 2009, which will pay out in future years.

He has been head of the company since it was created through a merger in 1999 with Norwich-based Reckitt & Coleman, he once let it slip that he thought some of the Cillit Bang products were very stupid. He doesn’t seem to mind fooling the public with his "stupid products" and taking home millions of pounds, while other people who struggle to buy his overpriced products struggle to live under the extreme austerity measures of the Conservative government.

Michael Spencer...ICAP...£13, 419, 619 million

Mr Spencer is number three on the list, and who is one of David Cameron’s closest allies is. He resigned as Tory party Treasurer after admitting to his inner circle that having two jobs means he is spread too thin and that "mistakes have been made" in the way ICAP has developed. He resigned after over-seeing the Conservative fund-raising push, through the election. When he became treasurer in 2006, the party had an£8m deficit. Today the Tory party is the richest party in political history and has in excess of £55 MILLION in its coffers.

Michael Spencer is/was the Chief Exec and founder of Experian. (More about Experian below) Mr Spencer alone has donated £2.6m to the Tories since January 2006, making him one of the party's most important donors.

Sir Terry Leahy ...Tesco...£12, 038, 303 million

In 2009 Sir Terry collected £ 5.2million in pay, bonuses and perks, while he is understood to have shares in Tesco worth more than £10million.
Sir Terry Leahy retired as head of Tesco it wasn’t to spend more time with his family it was probably "to spend more time with his private investments!

Lord Boswell of Aynho - Conservative Peer. Has or had shares in Tesco’s and Barclays

Forget the glowing Leahy eulogies that the right wing press has force feeding us about Leahy which can only be described as a cheap “fatty “diet abundant in sycophantic goo with a side order of gush. I'd say Sir Terry has done more damage to the fabric of British life than any other businessman in modern times, he’s helped destroy towns and the countryside and growers, dairy farmers and general farmers don’t like him very much either. He is well in with David Cameron too. In fact Cameron made good use of Leahy in his 2010 general election campaign. Cameron's new planning laws should pass the mustard with people like Leahy with their endless scandals - on land grabbing, price-fixing, the breaching of planning law, the shameless misleading of millions of customers into grabbing illusory bargainsand Tesco is at the illusionary bargains again, reducing things across their stores by a penny or two but vastly raising the prices of other items to pay for it, it is just a huge scam and Cameron allows this to happen. The core of “Leahyism”, and its supposed "brilliance", was the relentless forcing down of prices, but their producers and farmers do not get a share of those eye watering profits, they get paid a pittance for their produce.

Tom Albanese... Rio Tinto... £11,623,162

Chief executive, BS (Mineral Economics), MS (Mining Engineering).

Dominic Grieve, Conservative Attorney General had or has registered share holdings in Rio Tinto

Mr Grieve held or holds at least 240,000 of shares in mining firms Anglo American and Rio Tinto, bank Standard Chartered and oil giant Shell - all of which work in Zimbabwe.

In 2008 he defended his position, saying all the shares had been properly declared.

Robert Mugabe was sworn in as president in 2008 after a meaningless election 'run-off' in which his only opponent had pulled out after weeks of violence and intimidation.

Robert Mugabe said of David Cameron: "he's a man I could do business with".

Sir Martin Sorrell ...WPP Group...£8,949,985

Mr Sorrell was the face that took to the air to "justify" the 49% pay increases of CEOs and sits on David Cameron's business council and apparently it is only a matter of time before Sir Martin is ennobled as Lord Sorrell (he could be Lord Sorrell of taking your business out of the UK to avoid paying UK tax)

Previously Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, has said it is right that the BBC takes a substantial cut in its funding, he also said that he believed it was right that the BBC was being forced to take a budget cut of 16% in real terms over the next four years from April 2011, following the corporation's six-year licence fee settlement with the government.

Sorrell half-jokingly went on to say that "maybe Rupert and James Murdoch were right, maybe [the BBC] is too broad", citing the corporation's reduced licence fee funding as part of a broader global trend. "In a way what is happening here with the BBC is that its subsidy is being reduced. It is going in that direction. It is a sign of the times, of the straits we are in. Everyone has to do their part."! Mr Sorrell could always "do his bit" and forego his 49% pay rise as a sign of solidarity with those who have very little and who are being forced by the Tories to pay for the greed of the few in this country! Hypocrite!

In 2008 Martin Sorrell moved WPP Group to the republic of Ireland for tax purposes; he maintains it was a difficult decision made in the interests of shareholders. (How many UK jobs went with it?)

Before Osborne's budget, there had been speculation that the Treasury was aiming to get a high-profile company to announce its return to Britain. Business publisher United Business Media, which left three years ago, was first to oblige in the hours after Wednesday's budget, saying that it was "actively reconsidering" its tax base.

And after the budget in what appeared be to a carefully stage-managed announcement, Sorrell used an early morning appearance on the BBC's Today programme to declare his support for the changes in the budget that will cut the tax paid by UK-based companies on overseas earnings by three quarters. Barely two hours later, Osborne was also on the programme and welcomed WPP's potential return.

Sorrell said: "I wouldn't say it was orchestrated or choreographed." But he admitted there had been discussions between the government and WPP for many months, and particularly since the Davos summit.

So is WPP returning to the UK? Well if they have any plans it doesn't look like it is in the immediate future. This is just more deliberately misleading guff from the Tories, designed to make them look like they are doing better than they actually are.

Don Robert (Experian) £8,601,984

This is so hypocritical, Don Robert and Experian is the company selected by David Cameron and the “Tory” government to crack down on benefits fraud! What a pity that Cameron does not crack down on obscene pay and bonuses of Experian’s CEO, who make money out of other peoples misery! What a pity Cameron does not use Experian to crack down on those tax cheats that avoid paying their UK taxes and shift all their money into off-shore accounts. Benefit cheats are far outweighed by the type of tax dodging that goes on. Benefit fraud is estimated to cost around £1.5 billion, tax cheats like Vodafone is let off their £6 billion tax bill by Tory chancellor George Osborne and it dwarfs benefit fraud. Both is wrong, but benefit cheats in general tend to do it as a means to an end to survive and feed and clothe their families, while the likes of all these tax dodgers do it because they are greedy and want more and more money than they or their families can ever spend in their lifetimes.

Cameron has effectively put a price on the heads of people on benefits and Experian will act like a bounty hunter and will get a payment for each “fraudster” its sophisticated systems uncover. Cameron grossly overestimated benefit fraud and now companies like Experian will be making an estimated £50 million at least out of the state.

If Experian makes mistakes it could deprive rightful claimants of much-needed benefits, not mentioning the distress that can be caused. Experian holds records on 45m Number of UK adults!

Conservative Welfare Minister, Chris Grayling said:

"Why should the government not use the same tools available to independent organisations?"

"This is data that is publicly available, that is publicly on sale that is available to set out spending patterns – what loans you have taken out, what your overall patterns of spending in your life are.

"If there is a huge mismatch between the way you are living your life and the amount of money you are supposed to be receiving from the state in benefits, surely it is right and proper that we should be saying, 'How is that happening?' Where it is legitimate and legal to use data, I see no reason why government shouldn't do so."

Well Grayling would say that wouldn't he? Graylin was or is a shareholder of Experian.

Grayling also defended the payment of "bounties" to credit rating agencies that help to identify benefit cheats, while complete ignoring that this country has more of a problem with tax dodging cheats, many of which reside in the Conservative

Nobody approves of benefit cheats. But mining private data on a routine basis on the off-chance of catching people out is a disproportionate invasion of privacy.

There's a presumption of innocence in this country, and trawling everyone's credit data and treating us all as suspects seriously brings that into question.

George Osborne the Tory chancellor hired a team of accountants to avoid paying inheritance tax. People like Osborne let off companies like Vodafone, Phil Hammond Defense Secretary and Andrew Mitchell Overseas Aid Secretary, Welfare Minister, Chris grayling, Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, all have avoided paying UK tax in one way or another, or have all been shareholders in suspect companies yet these are the people sanctioning “bounty hunters” not only to wheedle out benefit cheats, but to spy on all of us!

Furthermore, by taking powers of legal investigation and enforcement which ought to sit with the state, and granting them to private organisations is a dangerous thing to do, especially when the same harsh lines are not being employed with the big tax avoiders in this country! This is the Tories genre after "privatisation" and use the private sector which ends up taking money out of the state and putting it in the bank accounts of people like those mentioned above and company shareholders. Some of these ministers are even benefiting from the laws and policies they are issuing.

Cameron and Osborne want to stop well off people claiming things like disability benefits, child benefits etc. yet Cameron has claimed disability benefits for his late son Ivan, he claims child benefits and so does George Osborne, they are both multi-millionaires and have been in politics for some time, receiving and excellent salary and expense claims, why do they need to claim and why are they pointing to others while doing the exact same thing? To put benefit fraud into perspective Cameron says£1.5bn is fraudulently claimed, the budget for social security/Benefits is£158bn, benefit fraud against tax avoidance is a drop in the ocean. Not a peep about the £15bn per annum of tax avoidance by the rich, or about the £5bn loophole for the Non Doms who fund the Tories. This country’s problems can be addressed if tax avoidance was tackled, but it isn’t, not properly I wonder why?

Dominic Grieve the Conservative Attorney General also has or had registered share holdings in Experian also has or had Registrable shareholdings: Rio Tinto Shell Diageo GlaxoSmithKline Reckitt Benckiser Schroders Home Retail Group Anglo American Platinum Corp Astrazeneca Ord. Standard Chartered LVMH BHP Billiton Experian

Dominic Grieve also received financial support from the “Midlands Industrial Council” read all about the MIC on this blog here

Grieve also has this listed with the Remunerated employment, office, profession etc: Barrister. Ex-member of Lloyds' reinsured into Equitas and a member of NACDE, a Names Action Group.

Michael Spencer (registered number 3 on the 49% CEO List) is/was the Chief Executive and founder of Experian and is also a major Tory party donor!

Bob Diamond....Barclays....CEO....Awarded Himself £27 million paydeal

Shortly before the highly controversial chief executive of Barclays went on the John Humphrys show on BBC Radio 4 to lecture us all on credit and the need for austerity measures, he had awarded himself a 327 million pay deal.

Jonathan Djanogly, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice who is piloting controversial plans to cut legal aid and curb pay-outs – a move that could benefit the insurance industry to the tune of £1bn a year – has investments worth at least £250,000 in companies with insurance arms.

Who Is it really that is "all in it together"?

Prime Minister David Cameron called for more boardroom responsibility. Deputy PM Nick Clegg called it a "slap in the face" for millions who were struggling.

During the run-up to the general election Cameron also pledged that he would ensure that the pay between boardroom and shop floor was narrowed in fact the gap between boardroom and shop floor pay has got wider and wider and while workers pay is not keeping up with inflation and some workers pay is frozen and others have taken an actual pay cut to help out "struggling bosses", no we see the gap between workers pay and their bosses has just increased by 49% and all that Cameron and Clegg can do is offer patronising mealy mouthed words.

These greedy bosses sit on each other’s ‘remuneration committees and wave through each other’s’ offensive pay rises. An average rise of 49 per cent includes vast rewards for failure while employees, shareholders and customers suffer. It is the greedy bosses and the Conservative party enabled by the Liberal Democrats t who are in it the trough together, while we are left floundering and struggling with this craziness.

Many FTSE bosses then have the brass neck to whine about paying 50 per cent tax. It’s high time they showed leadership and restraint. Perhaps HMRC should also conduct enquires as to where these people keep their money.

Labour said the pay increases were part of a "something for nothing" culture. While he said that "People are not against those at the top getting higher rewards if those rewards are earned, if more wealth is created, if more jobs are created," Ed Miliband, also said this was not the case here as the stock market had not risen to match the salaries.

In fact it was to this very thing that Ed Miliband spoke of in his conference speech, for which he was much ridiculed by David Cameron and assorted Tories and their cohorts in the right wing press "red Ed" they started screaming again, while denouncing what he had said, now a few weeks later the truth has emerged and we discover that Ed Miliband is correct once again.

Ed Miliband the leader of the labour party is the only mainstream politician to be trying to offer a change in the way this country does business,, we the public must make up our minds whether we are going to fall for more of Cameron's lies and deliberate misleading’s, or we are going to try and trust someone who is basically an decent honest man who has the brains and the integrity to try and get us out of this mess , one thing is for certain, the Tories do not have either!


Terry said...

Another excellent post, Gracie.

It is very clear that there is a meltdown coming, centred on the EU and the Euro, and the wealthy and the political classes are grabbing as much of the available moolah before the brown stuff hits the fan.

The NeoCons are taking over and there's no a lot we can do about it, regrettably.

Gracie Samuels said...

You are absolutely right Terry and with the Greek prime minster now playing games, that meltdown could be all the more closer!

People need to wake up and see what is going on around them in this country because until they do and we start demanding change then we are facing a head on smash into a brick wall with Cameron, Clegg and Osborne at the helm!