Gambling firm bosses refuse pay cuts

The bosses of two of Britain's biggest gambling companies have refused to take pay cuts despite using taxpayer money to prop up their businesses.  William Hill is benefiting to the tune of over £30m per month from the wage subsidy scheme and the business rates holiday, while Paddy Power is saving £400,000 per month in business rates.  Video: Gambling firms to halt TV and radio adverts during lockdown (Press Association) The companies' bosses have been slammed for failing to follow the lead of rivals by taking pay cuts, as a way of sharing the pain caused by the coronavirus pandemic with taxpayers and low-paid staff.  Ladbrokes' boss, Kenny Alexander, has broken ranks by cutting his full £816,000 salary by 20 per cent for three months and ditched his 2020 bonuses, after this newspaper reported his company was benefiting from £20m of taxpayer support per month.  But Ulrik Bengtsson, the boss of William Hill, will keep his full £600,000 salary this year, and has instead only offered to cancel a planned pay rise and his annual bonuses.  His firm is using the wage subsidy scheme to pay the majority of the 8,000 staff who are staying at home from its 1,568 shuttered shops.  Peter Jackson, the boss of Paddy Power's owner Flutter, will also keep his £737,000 salary despite his company benefiting to the tune of £400,000 per month from the business rates holiday.  The 44-year-old was, however, praised for choosing to pay staff in its 350 UK shops who are not working, despite his firm being eligible for the furlough scheme.  The wage subsidy scheme allows businesses to claim 80 per cent of their workers' salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, if they are not working.  This week MPs said their failure to take a pay cut while accepting taxpayer handouts was 'shameful'. Shadow Treasury Minister Wes Streeting MP said: 'It's really important that high-paid bosses are leading by example, and where they are asking the workforce to take a hit that this pain is being felt by everyone.  'The schemes need to be used responsibly. First Secretary of State Dominic Raab, while deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovered from coronavirus (COVID-19), announced on April 16that theU.K.lockdown would continue for at least another three weeks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement, while flanked by windows showing children's drawings of rainbows supporting the NHS, on his first day back at work in Downing Street after recovering from a bout of coronavirus (COVID-19) that put him in intensive care, in London, England on April 27. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could see the U.K. economy shrink by a record 35 percent by June.  A man wears a religious placard on Market Street in Manchester, England on March 25.  Workers sell food and household items to local residents from their ice cream van at a supported housing estate in west Belfast, Northern Ireland on April 1. Soldiers and private contractors help to prepare the ExCel centre in London, which is being made into the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital comprising two wards, each of 2,000 people, to help tackle coronavirus, on March 30.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with chief medical officer Chris Whitty (L) and Chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance (R) in Downing Street after he had taken part in the government's emergency Cobra meeting in London, England on March 16.