The Magistrate on BBC expenses :
Of course there is a proportion of people who just don’t like paying any bill, but let’s put this into perspective.
The licence fee is more than two weeks of Jobseeker’s Allowance, and about a day-and-a-half’s worth of the average wage. The £2000 spent on flying the boss’s family back because Sir had to sort out the Ross/Brand fiasco represents more than 33 weeks’ worth of JSA for the poorest licence payers. So come and have a look at JPs fining the unlicensed in – note – a criminal court.
Then, next time you want to charge up a £200 lunch at the Ivy for two people who are already well-off you will have a better idea of where the money comes from. I’ll be happy to arrange it, and I might even come along myself.
I see that our dear friends at the BBC have been giving much prominence to the news that our Monarchy costs us £41.5m in the 2008/9 financial year. OK – and the BBC costs £3bn+ per annum. Which is best value for Britain?
I wonder what you make of BBC DG Mark Thompson’s suggestion that there is an ideological plot behind plans to “topslice” the television licence fee…..
In an impassioned attack on the proposals, Mark Thompson said that the Corporation was the victim of a clique of Labour policymakers who want it to hand over £130 million a year from the levy to prop up regional news bulletins on ITV. In a surprising display of rhetorical aggression, the BBC’s boss said that they were “ideologically focused” on attacking the Corporation’s funding structure.
Well, I have to say that I take an ideological position on the BBC license tax. I think that it is outdated, inappropriate and unfair. In the 21st century we do not need a State broadcaster as currently manifest by the BBC and it’s not a question of “top-slicing” it, it is question of AXING it? Oh, and it’s not the BBC which is the victim of a clique of Labour policymakers – it is the people of the United Kingdom.
I’m not surprised that BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons claims the Conservative proposal to freeze the license tax for one year is “a recipe for curbing the BBC editorial independence”. Those whose snouts are plunged in the trough of public funding will naturally squeal when they are asked to refrain from gluttonous spending. In my view the Conservative proposal is entirely inadequate – we do not need to see a freeze for one year, we need to see dramatic reduction. This country is in a profound economic recession – everywhere one looks there are cut-backs, wage cuts, jobs losses – since WHEN did the BBC become immune from these realities. The Commons debate on this will be interesting to observe insofar as we will see are ANY MP’s committed to the principle of cutting back the scope of the State Broadcaster. As for Lyons and his silly claim that editorial independence is compromised through prudent budgetary restraint – is there anybody out there who buys that?
Good lord – and just when we thought the anachronism of the license-tax was bad enough, comes the news that Google could be be hit with an online advertising tax to boost the coffers of the BBC, under proposals being discussed by the Government.
“Ministers are considering taxing search engines, download websites and broadband providers to fund public service TV and the roll-out of broadband…”
One more reason to get shot of the totalitarian half-wits in power. I presume there will be black arm bands and solemn music played at the BBC the day hard Labour is thrown out of power by the British people.
Interesting to read that the BBC takes our license tax and then uses it to pay teenagers to brandish guns. “A teenager’s claim that he was paid £50 by a “fixer” to brandish guns on the BBC’s Panorama programme is to be investigated by Merseyside Police. The 17-year-old was filmed assembling a shotgun for the programme about guns and gang culture on Merseyside. On Friday, Liverpool Crown Court heard he was paid by a leading figure in the Marsh Gang to show off the weapon. A Merseyside Police spokeswoman said they were investigating whether they could identify those involved. Jason Smith, defending the youth, said: “The defence contention is not that he was paid directly by the Panorama film producers, but he was paid money by an intermediary who had been paid money to fix it on their behalf.” The stated mission of the BBC is “to inform, educate and entertain” but I didn’t realise that funding gangsters was all part of this rich tapestry!