Britons give thumbs up to enterprise

Oct 17 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

A poll commissioned by the Daily Telegraph newspaper has found that the majority of people in Britain embrace wealth creation and respect entrepreneurs but are suspicious of large companies and their bosses.

Asked if they would like their children to be an entrepreneur and to start their own business, 56 per cent of respondents in the poll of 2,300 adults said yes.

But this enthusiasm for enterprise has its limits:

The bosses of major companies are also given a pretty lukewarm approval. Just 28pc admire the work and professionalism of chief executives. More than half are completely indifferent and neither approve nor disapprove of those at the top of major corporations.

Furthermore, most people also believe that chief executives are overpaid. The average leader of a FTSE 100 company earns over £2m a year including benefits bonus and share options, but 54pc of people think chief executives should earn less than £500,000.

Ö. Asked if they thought business had cleaned up its act since the Enron scandal on Wall Street, 56pc of respondents said no.

And despite the Chancellor, Gordon Brown's, claims to be a champion of enterprise, two-thirds of those surveyed also said that they pay either too much tax, or far too much tax.

Daily Telegraph | We want our children to become entrepreneurs