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Wednesday, 17 June 2020

BBC Announces Voluntary Redundancies in Effort to Make Ends Meet



Yesterday, giving evidence to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the BBC's Director of Policy, Clare Sumner, outlined some of the measures the Corporation is taking to plug the £800 million funding gap it claims is the result of recent changes in the TV licence fee.

On top of that it claims the current coronavirus lockdown has cost the BBC an additional £125 million, which could rise even further if the situation continues.

In addition to production savings, the BBC was seeking to reduce the amount it spent on staffing, infrastructure and facilities, so Sumner said.

She cited the example of BBC Northern Ireland, which has seen planned structural improvements to its Belfast HQ put on hold in an effort to cut costs.

The BBC frequently likes to remind politicians and members of the public alike about the magnificent service it provides on a shoestring budget.

Seizing the opportunity afforded by yesterday's evidence session Sumner, who receives a BBC salary of £170,000, again reminded the committee that the BBC was only able to operate thanks to the unique way it is funded by the TV licence fee.

Should TV licence fee evasion be decriminalised, so sayeth doom-monger Sumner, then the BBC, which can barely afford a pot to piss in as it is (although always has plenty of money for diversity initiatives and similar such bollocks), would suffer additional losses of £200 million per annum.

This is because people would be far more likely to dodge the TV licence fee if an alternative non-criminal method of enforcement was used, according to the BBC's latest research on the issue.

Today further details have emerged of how the BBC proposes to cut staffing costs through a wave of voluntary redundancies.


In an internal message to staff, the outgoing Director General, Tony Hall, reinforced the myth of BBC poverty, saying the Corporation was already facing financial pressures due to the Government's recent decision - which the BBC fully endorsed and accepted at the time - to stop funding the over-75 TV licence fee.

"We know hard choices are necessary", bleated Hall.

"Over a third of our costs - across the BBC - relate to our people.

"That's why we're introducing this voluntary redundancy programme."

All UK-based public service broadcasting staff will be given the opportunity to express an interest in the deal. Those working for the BBC's commercial subsidiaries are not included.

A BBC spokesperson said: "The impact of the coronavirus pandemic means the BBC needs to make £125 million of savings this financial year, in addition to the considerable efficiency savings the Corporation had previously committed to and planned for.

"The BBC's challenge is to keep delivering programmes and services for the whole country while continuing to adapt and change.

"The BBC is therefore inviting public service staff to express an interest in voluntary redundancy.

"This is a necessary process to ensure the BBC meets the challenges of a fast-changing media environment within its financial perimeters."

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