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BBC's top pay 'out of step with current economic climate'

30 March 2010

A parliamentary report released today has criticised executive pay at the BBC and a lack of transparency in the way it presents pay information for its most senior managers.

The review of the BBC's 2008-2009 annual report by the UK House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee describes senior executive pay at the BBC as "out of step with the current economic climate". The report argues that it should be benchmarked against senior management pay scales in the public sector.

Not satisfied with proposing savage cuts that would see the closure of BBC 6Music and BBC Asian Network, as well as job cuts and redundancies affecting its world-class website, BBC top managers are now quaking before the corporation's commercial rivals and 'reviewing' the development of apps. These would allow mobile phone users to access the public service BBC information that they pay for through their licence.

Hitting out at a lack of transparency in the BBC annual report, the committee calls for the BBC to reveal the number of stars earning over a quarter of a million pounds a year. It makes clear the committee does not "expect to see any entries in the £5m plus category".

Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said:

"With the BBC now threatening to sack a quarter of its website staff and shut down whole areas of its service as part of its drive to identify £600m of savings, it is sickening to see the way that senior BBC managers have continued to feather their nests, attempting to cover their tracks in the process.
"For far too long, senior BBC managers have enjoyed fat cat salaries on a par with, and often in excess of, those seen in the commercial sector, while being charged with providing a public service. We've long argued that both executive pay and the astronomical salaries paid to 'celebrities' should be made public. This report vindicates our stance."

Tags: , broadcasting, bbc, executive pay, parliament uk, cms select committee, bbc 6 music, bbc asian network, websites, apps