Conservatives warn BBC over licence fee rise following leaked salary details
LONDON - The Tories have warned the BBC that the recent leaked salary details of BBC presenters undermine the corporation's proposals to raise the licence fee to 2.3% above the rate of inflation over a seven-year period.
Shadow culture secretary Hugo Swire told the House of Commons that public support for the BBC's proposed increase of the licence fee from the current £131.50 to £180 by 2014 would seriously undermine public support for the corporation.
He described Jonathan Ross's new £18m three-year deal as only value for money to licence payers "in a parallel universe".
Swire's remarks were made yesterday in a Commons debate about the renewal of the BBC's charter, where the corporation wants approval for raising the licence fee to 2.3% above the rate of inflation over the next seven years.
Swire said: "Recent leaks over the level of pay for presenters only adds to the argument that too generous a settlement will damage the broadcasting sector and could lead to the BBC outspending or outgunning the opposition in a hunt to bag star names."
In April, the BBC launched an investigation into how the salary details of its top-earning radio DJs was leaked to the media, which revealed that Radio Two breakfast host Sir Terry Wogan was its highest-paid presenter, with an annual salary of £800,000.
Radio One's Chris Moyles was in second place with £563,000 for his five shows a week. Chris Evans was also reported to be earning £530,000 a year for his three-hour show every Saturday morning.
The leak was found to be Sam Walton, a temporary BBC worker who later admitted selling details of high-profile BBC presenter's salaries to the national press in return for £1,000. He was later dismissed by the corporation, but no criminal charges were pressed.
Swire added: "There is huge support among the public for the BBC. But an unacceptably high level for the licence fee will surely undermine that support."
"Do you not accept that a settlement in excess of £180 will simply be too high for many families on low income?" he asked the Commons.
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- Middleweight Artworker become £32K, London
- International Assistant Brand Manager Ball & Hoolahan £28,000 per annum, South East
- PR and Social Media Manager Ball & Hoolahan £55,000 per annum, London
- Media - Client Director Ball & Hoolahan £44,000 per annum, London
- International Brand Manager Ball & Hoolahan £45,000 per annum, South East region
- Digital Project Manager - Hugely Respected Digital Agency ADLIB £30000 - £45000 per annum, Oxford