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Outrage as SSE chief handed 72% pay rise – months after raising household bills

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Jun 19, 2017


Just months after hitting households with a huge hike in bills, SSE has handed its chief executive a 72% pay rise.

Head honcho Alistair Phillips-Davies could now cover the yearly heating bills of 2,715 SSE customers stuck on the company’s standard tariff - one of the priciest on the market. 

In April, the Big Six giant hiked prices for the average customer by 6.9%, or £73 a year.  

The company blamed the price hike on cost increases “outside our control”, such as the smart meter roll out and renewable energy obligations.

But while families struggled with higher bills, in the year to March 2017 SSE top dog Alistair Phillips-Davie's pay ballooned to £2.9 million – up from £1.7 million the year before.

The company’s finance director, Gregor Alexander, didn't do too badly either; he was forced to get by on 2.2m - up from £1.3m the year before.

Overcharging millions of Brits is clearly lucrative work.

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Does he deserve the pay rise?

SSE’s full-year results last month revealed the company made higher profits last year supplying gas and electricity to British homes.

In the year to March, SSE lost 190,000 household customers but managed to boost profits by 5%.

With the energy market under intense political scrutiny, and millions of ordinary people struggling to pay to heat their homes, what on earth was SSE thinking? 

The exorbitant pay rises have sparked outrage.

Consumer group Citizens Advice condemned the company's financial results as “hard to understand for the millions of their loyal customers whose bills have recently gone up”, while Will Hodson, of the collective switching site the Big Deal, said it took “breathtaking arrogance for [Phillips-Davies] to take a £1.2 million pay rise – a cost entirely under the company’s control”.

SSE defends the pay rise

SSE attempted to defend the pay rise.

The company’s remuneration chair, Katie Bickerstaffe, said the policy was “designed to ensure they are fairly paid but not overpriced” and that SSE had “performed well in a difficult trading environment”.

A spokesperson added: ““We recognise executives are paid substantial sums in line with their responsibilities, but at SSE executive remuneration is strongly linked to performance and length of service and the company has been and always will be disciplined in its approach to pay.”

What do you make of the SSE chief executive’s pay rise?

Head to the comments section below to have your say (keep it clean).

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