Exhortations by chancellor Kenneth Clarke to company directors to moderate their pay increases are not, it seems, falling on deaf ears. The directors of Philip Collins Ltd are going further than even Clarke demanded. Directors' emoluments in the latest, just-released accounts for 1992 show a 16.3% fall.
But the belt tightening is relative. The only director to receive emoluments is, of course, singer, raconteur and cinematic train robber Phil Collins, who happens to own 99 of the 100 shares in issue. His pay cut meant that he earned a salary of just £10,606,804, against £12,680,000 in 1991.
Collins is in fact the only director of a British company whose earnings come anywhere near Peter Wood's, chief executive of Direct Line, famed for his eight-figure salaries. Collins, however, has been at it longer. From 1986 to 1992 his total emoluments add up to £50 million. And just in case he fears a pauper's retirement, his pension contributions in the same period are nudging £10 million.