A new Freedom of Information request has revealed (link) that the BBC has spent at least £1.3 million pounds of license fee payers’ money on internal flights from London to Manchester over the past two years.
The cost of staff rail travel for more than 100 senior managers has also increased significantly across the BBC as a whole since the corporation began moving some 2,300 post to its new northern base in the MediaCity development at Salford Quays in May 2011.
Rail travel cost the BBC £29,847 in the three months to the end of June 2010, rising to £47,358 in the same period the following year, during which corporation departments began moving from London to Salford, according to the corporation’s latest quarterly travel and expenses figures released this week. The figures are for the BBC as a whole, with the cost of trains between London and Manchester not specified.
In the three months to the end of June 2012, by which time the Salford move was completed, rail travel costs were £45,905, rising to £50,146 for the same quarter this year.
Nearly 600 staff from the BBC Children’s, Learning, Sport and Future, Media and Technology departments, Radio 5 Live and BBC Breakfast relocated from London to Salford.
Among other complaints, the BBC has previously been criticised for paying staff a total of £24 million in allowances following a recent move to Salford – costing a total of £942 million.
With accusations of the BBC using underhanded tactics, including fabricated footage, news fixing, headline theft and product placement being used to manipulate and television viewers, and not to mention the paedophilia scandal that continues to reveal deeper involvement of BBC staff, overall trust in the corporation is now at an all time low.
As a result, protest groups have emerged that encourage British citizens to stop paying the draconian license fee.
Groups such as ‘TV Licence Resistance’ on Facebook (link) are leading the rebellion and their rapid growth suggests that groups like this are becoming a formidable force against this unjust stealth tax.
In 2010 the Adam Smith Institute called for the fee to be scrapped, labelling it as “obsolete and unfair”. The think-tank stated that the corporation should move to a voluntary subscription service instead.
In April this year John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said it was time for the Government and the BBC to discuss alternatives to the licence fee:
“In an era when people are more and more not watching broadcast linear television, it becomes harder and harder to justify (the licence fee).”
“As more and more choice is available, the necessity for the BBC having a presence in every genre and every kind or programming becomes steadily harder to justify.”
It has been suggested that more than a million households do not pay the £145.50 annual fee, but the BBC refuse to release official figures.