Designer Stella McCartney enjoyed a pay rise to £2.7m last year, while her business claimed £850,000 in government support during the pandemic, according to reports.
The news comes amid reports that meanwhile cosmetics company Charlotte Tilbury has returned furlough payments of £3.2m it took during the pandemic to the government, after its makeup sales withstood the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
In June it was reported that British firms had paid back the government in excess of £1bn in previously claimed furlough payments, after weathering the Covid recession successfully.
The scheme saw the government pay out £64bn, up until mid-May this year, to subsidise workers’ wages throughout the pandemic.
McCartney’s salary hike during the pandemic was £220,000 up on the year before, even as sales at fashion brand Stella McCartney dived 26 per cent to £28.4m in the year to 31 December 2020, and the business made a £33.4m pretax loss the year before, according to the Guardian, which first reported the news.
The company said its target for 2021 was to increase sales by four per cent and “significantly reduce” its operating losses.
In 2018, McCartney bought back 50 per cent of the company’s shares from conglomerate Kering after a 17-year business partnership, and still owns a majority in her company.
A year later French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH bought a minority stake in McCartney’s brand. In total the conglomerate provided loans of just over £66m to Stella McCartney Limited, with the brand claiming it was reliant on additional funds from LVMH.
Stella McCartney Limited said support from their investor had indicated it would continue to make available such funds are needed by the company, but there was no guarantee that it would continue.
The rapid spread of Omicron has brought a resurgence of fears that the government will introduce further restrictions, prompting calls from hospitality and leisure bosses for government support to help businesses survive the winter.
On Tuesday Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a fresh £1bn rescue package. Pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be able to receive a one-off payment of £6,000 per venue. While it was welcomes by some, others criticised the package.
Chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association Michael Kill said: “Every pound of help is much needed – but this package is far too little and borders on the insulting.”