Despite every attempt to curb excessive boardroom and executive bonuses, awards hit all-time highs this year exceeding levels last seen prior to the financial crisis (Investment Advisor).

The Office for National Statistics claimed that total bonuses were £1.8bn higher for year ending March 2016 at £44.3bn.

Although, and perhaps predictably, bankers were still higher than all other professions, their share of the overall bonus ‘pool’ had declined from 44% in 2008 to 31% last year. At an average of £13,400, this is still higher than other sectors and nearly twice that of the mining community but there has been a marked increase in awards payable to those in the digital sector.

The statistics point to a changing trend suggesting the bonus culture is seeping into all areas of the economy and is no longer restricted to finance. Bonuses in finance have actually fallen since 2008 and have grown in the rest of the economy. This is partly explained by more rapid growth in other sectors and partly by a European ruling that prevents certain UK financial institutions from making their own decisions on how much top managers are allowed to be paid relative to their salary. The EU did not elect to apply these rules to any other industry.

Bonuses are not exclusive to the private sector but the amount paid to public sector workers is small by comparison. Of the £44.3bn paid to UK workers in bonuses, £600m of it was received by public sector workers.

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