BBC attacked for obeying the law

Such horrors, eh?

In a letter to Labour MP David Winnick, a member of the home affairs select committee, who has been pursuing the issue, the acting director general, Tim Davie, attached an email sent to staff by his chief financial officer, Zarin Patel, explaining its plans to reform the way it pays stars.

The email added: \”We will begin implementing these changes immediately. However, because there is no legal basis for terminating contracts early, moving individuals with existing contracts from service companies to BBC staff or self-employed individuals will take place as their contracts expire.\”

Winnick said he believed there was no excuse for the prevarication and the contracts should be immediately renegotiated: \”No information is given as to when these contracts will end, so it does appear that this will continue for quite a considerable time.

\”Almost certainly, in most cases, if not all, the 804 people would be considered to be employees of the BBC in the sense that they appear regularly all the year round presenting and appearing on programmes and I cannot understand how it can possibly be justified that … these people would pay a level of tax less than my constituents, whose average salary is just under £23,000.

Quite apart from the fact that Winnick seems to be innumerate – there is no way that his constituents on £23k are paying either more tax or a higher rate of tax – look at what he\’s saying.

You must unilaterally rip up contracts, break the law in fact, to do what I insist you must.

To which the correct answer is \”fuck off you toad\”.

5 thoughts on “BBC attacked for obeying the law”

  1. The point that Willets is an arse is well made, however:

    1) It’s not always illegal or unreasonable to seek to renegotiate a contract when conditions change, if both parties agree. Conditions have changed re the BBC, as people are now seeing it as not delivering value (to put it mildly).

    2) He is an arse though, as even without renegotiating the contracts, if his contention that these people are de facto employees (which certainly seems plausible – can Jeremy Paxman send a locum to present Newsnight?) then they are surely taxable anyway, only the sloth of HMRC can be at issue.

  2. Winnick isn’t actually innumerate. Just has a tendency to focus on something and ignore other things. Target fixation perhaps.

    And yes its possible to change contracts/terminate contracts. Can be financial penalties and of course there’s nothing to say the person involved will agree to sign a new one if its conditions are detrimental. So could lose some potential staff.
    I’m just waiting for the TV license to shoot up to deal with all these new employees.

  3. Slightly o/t, and I don’t know if anyone else has made this point, but when the pols last week were complaining that the pay-out to the former BBC D-G was a reward for failure, am I right in thinking that MPs who lose their seats at an election receive two years’ salary?

  4. They receive a golden goodbye to get them used to normal life……
    A different definition of ‘normal’ from the one I was previously aware of perhaps.

    Think its based on length of service – I recall hearing some longer serving MPs got larger payouts but that may be nothing to do with time perhaps.

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