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Sunday, 14 September 2014

BBC Bosses Down, Expenses Up

The BBC claims to have reduced the number of senior managers by 5.7% in the last year.

This reduction has led to salary savings of 5.4%, according to a statement published on the BBC website a few days ago.

Between August 2009 and September 2014 the BBC reduced its overall senior manager headcount by 230 from 640 to 410 (36%) and the senior manager pay bill by £27.4m from £78.5m to £51.1m (35%). This translates to an average BBC senior manager salary of £125k, which is almost five times the UK average salary and compares quite favorably to the Prime Minister's £142k.

A BBC spokesperson said: "Since August 2009 the BBC has reduced senior manager headcount and pay bill by over a third. We’ll keep driving down costs whilst making sure we have the right people in the right jobs and are giving audiences the best programmes and services."

Director General Tony Hall vowed to improve efficiency at the scandal-ridden Corporation when he took up the top job last year. This news would seem to suggest the BBC is actually heading in the right direction by reining in spending.

But before anyone gets too excited at the prospect of BBC financial integrity, a quick glance at last week's Telegraph paints a very different picture.

According to that article the amount spent by BBC fat cats rose by 7% to almost £700k under Hall’s leadership. Worthy of special mention is Commercial Director Bal Samra, who claimed more than £7k on taxis in the last year despite receiving a basic salary of £315k.

A BBC spokesman told the Telegraph: "There are essential costs incurred in the running of a major broadcasting organisation which will always fluctuate, but we are mindful we are spending public money and aim to drive down costs wherever possible.

"We’re saving money by reducing the number and total pay bill of senior managers."

Andy Silvester, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: "Licence-fee payers will be furious that their hard-earned cash is being spent not on high-quality programming but on senior management’s astronomical expense bill."

We are in little doubt that the BBC bloaters claiming these massive expenses will think they are fully justified in doing so. They are probably salving their consciences with the notion that the BBC is no worse off, given the 36% fall in managerial headcount over the last 5 years.

There has never been a better time to cancel your TV licence.

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