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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

BBC Distorts Taxi Expense Figures


BBC extravagance is making the headlines again today, with news that the Corporation spent around £1.5m on taxi fares in the last three financial years.

In its response to a Freedom of Information request the BBC confirmed the following expenditure on taxis:

- 2014/15: £512,861
- 2015/16: £411,317
- 2016/17: £341,095

The BBC has previously released the following taxi expenditure figures:

- 2011/12: £10,741,554
- 2012/13: £11,775,985
- 2013/14: £11,918,789

Spot the difference?

That's right. The BBC has gotten canny with the way it records these things.

Information held by the BBC for the purposes of journalism, art or literature (e.g. production purposes) is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The BBC's taxi records were such that it was unable to separate out journeys made for production purposes for the financial years 2011/14, so it was forced to disclose the total amount spent on taxis for whatever purpose.

Having received a well-deserved kicking as a result of those earlier taxi expense figures, the BBC has obviously gone away and decided to change the way it records taxi expenses, so it can separate out those journeys made for production purposes. By separating out those journeys the taxi bill immediately appears much smaller than it actually is.

Speaking of the latest figures, John O'Connell of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "Hard-pressed licence fee payers will be furious that BBC staff are racking up such an extraordinary bill.

"The rest of the public sector is clamping down on unnecessary taxis and the Corporation should be no different.

"The BBC has to start spending money more efficiently or sympathy for the outdated TV Tax will continue to wane."

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2 comments:

Maryon Jeane said...

When I appeared on a BBC programme I was actually staying in London within (easy) walking distance of the studio from which the broadcast was taking place. So I naturally said that I would walk to the studio - but the BBC absolutely insisted that they would send "a car" (which turned out to be a black cab). They wouldn't take no for an answer, and the black cab duly turned up. The driver said that the black cabs got masses of work from the BBC and that it was "a goldmine" to them...

Joginder Singh Foley said...

Remember its not the BBC's money its the money of anyone who still pays the BBC veiwing tax