Shell boss’ ‘outrageous’ £10m pay package fires up tax debate

The increase in pay for Shell’s CEO, who received £9.7 million last year after the business posted record profits as a result of rising energy prices worldwide, was 53%.

Ben van Beurden, the chief executive for 2022, received a salary hike up from £6.3 million in 2021.

The almost £10 million total comprises a £2.6 million annual bonus for the year, a salary of £1.4 million, and £4.9 million from a long-term share incentive.

Following Mr. van Beurden’s resignation in January, Wael Sawan, a former director of integrated gas, renewables, and energy solutions at Shell, took over.

According to the oil and gas company’s annual report, which was released on Thursday, Mr. Sawan was hired with a salary of £1.4 million, which excludes bonuses and other performance-related compensation.

Yet, Mr. Sawan is also qualified for a target yearly bonus of 125% of his salary and long-term shares worth up to 300% of his salary, much as Mr. van Beurden.

The pay award for Mr. van Beurden, according to the NGO Global Witness, is 294 times the median earnings of £33,000.

Alison Harrison, the group’s leader for the fossil fuels campaign, claimed that Shell’s CEO made “what a normal UK worker would earn in six lives” in one year.

The majority of us, she added, “can agree that one guy shouldn’t be able to acquire such enormous wealth on the basis of a war in Ukraine fuelled by fossil fuels and a world energy crisis?”

Shell announced 2022 annual profits of $39.9 billion (£32.2 billion), more than twice the previous record of $31 billion set in 2008.

Shell’s gas activities generated the majority of the company’s income.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats expressed anger about the figures as well.

“Outrageous that the boss of Shell raked in over £10m while families struggle to heat their homes,” wrote Ed Davey in a tweet.

That is astounding and demonstrates how out of touch Rishi Sunak is that he won’t appropriately tax these eye-watering bonuses and record earnings.

The introduction of windfall taxes on energy company profits will cost Shell an estimated $2.3 billion (£1.86 billion) in windfall taxes by 2022.

It is anticipated to pay taxes in the UK for the first time since 2017 as a result.

The UK windfall tax, proposed when Rishi Sunak was chancellor, levies a 25% profit tax on energy-producing corporations, which will gradually disappear as energy prices stabilise. However, businesses receive tax savings totaling 91p for every £1 spent.

Global Witness’ Ms. Harrison demanded that the government expand the windfall tax to cover CEO bonuses.

We can’t continue to support a sector of the economy that puts the demands of the average person’s fundamental necessities behind the profits of a wealthy few, she said.

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