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BBC Fat Cat Troughing

MixBotMixBot Posts: 8,656 Automated Account
What is everyone's thoughts on the obscene troughing on expenses that were selectively published by the BBC this week?

What about Jana Bennett losing her £500 handbag and charging it to the taxpayer? Or spending nearly £1200 on champagne and flowers and another £3000 on leaving dinners for her fellow troughers? She even made us pay £200 for flowers for Wossy, a man who earns £6m a year, and £100 for a bottle of bubbly for Brucie. Jane Bennett earns more than the Prime Minister, for the record.

What about Ashley Highfield charging £1500 to the taxpayer for a dinner at the Bellagio? Or Zarin Patel charging £1000 for bed and breakfast in New York? Or John Smith charging nearly £1200 for an internal 'strategy' dinner?

When people at my work leave the fellow employees have a whip round for their leaving present. When it's my birthday I bring my own cake in. When I get my wallet nicked, I have to pay for a new one, even if I'm on work business when it happens. I don't stick it on the company credit card and get the taxpayer to pay for it. So why are these troughers any different?

Given that the BBC sent 54 people to prison last year because they were unable to pay the TV Tax- a tax that unfairly skewers the poorest people in society- how long are people going to tolerate this? How long are people going to continue defending the indefensible?

It was clever of the BBC to release these selective snippets to prevent wider disclosure under the FOI act. What else are they hiding, given that the 'disclosures' have more holes than the Titanic? Why don't we get to find out what the 'talent' is on?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The handbag wasnt charged to the taxpayer, the BBC claimed it on their insurance - something which happened at my last job when a teacher had her purse stolen from her office.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    TBH Kermit if I lost something like a laptop or wallet whilst specifically on work business like a business trip then I would ask my employer if they had insurance as like if you go on a holiday you cover yourself with travel insurance, well you would assume that your employer would insure you for business travel. I don't think I would feel an expectation for the employer to take such steps though, but I think I would ask.

    Things like hospitality dinners, breakfast whilst on business trips (hell I'm a student and even I claimed £11 back for a hotel breakfast when I was taking part in a university competition) all seem legitimate to me. The flowers and gifts I don't think are and there is some legal precedence behind that if i recall correctly. If you put your logo on it though you can say it's advertising and it's a legitimate business expense.

    I don't know the details of the subsistence claim and it is a bit iffy but if you are on a business trip (its not clear if they were?) you would hope your employer would make a contribution towards food costs! Normally there is a limit though, but £1500 / 29 = £50 a person so towards the pricier end but execs normally get a higher allowance than others. I think mine as a student was something more common sense like £90 a night accomodation and £30 a day food, plus all travel.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The difference is that when I travel on business I don't get put up in five star hotels, I get put up in the Travelodge. I do get subsistence but I don't get to have £100 dinners; my daily rate's about £20 max and it's up to me how I split it up.

    Quite a lot of the expenses claims were reasonable, I didn't pick holes in the DG's £2000 claim because that was reasonable. But most expenses claims are reasonable and legitimate, even with MPs they are, but there's a sizeable minority of troughing. One exec made 49 taxi claims in one year, despite having an official driver at his beck and call.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    After seeing what our MPs have been claiming for, (moat dredging, horse shit etc) I can't help but feel this story has gone over my shoulders somewhat. I'm really not that bothered about it. I want to read the expenses claims and salaries of the Beeb's biggest stars. Once we've got those, we'll talk.

    Incidentally, I notice that Ben Bradshaw - Exeter's worst export in history, surely - was on Sky News this morning claiming to be "surprised" over Pravda bosses' expenses claims. Apparently, they have a "few questions" to answer and publicly-funded bodies needed to think: "How does this look, are we being a bit extravagant?" when making claims. Is this the same Ben Bradshaw who, according to the Torygraph, "switched the designation of his second home to a property he shares with his partner in west London. Although the couple initially split the mortgage costs, Mr Bradshaw now claims the entire interest bill on the property – despite owning only half the property."?

    Oh, the irony.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    Given that the BBC sent 54 people to prison last year because they were unable to pay the TV Tax- a tax that unfairly skewers the poorest people in society-QUOTE]


    those people had a choice not to watch TV, and it wasnt the BBC, it was the courts, anyway the TV Licence isn’t expensive, if fact for what BBC supply its pretty good value.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh for goodness' sake, I'm tired of this old chestnut. The BBC, through it's extortion arm at Crapita, actively prosecute people for not paying the TV Tax. They actively seek the maximum punishments and they actively seek imprisonment for non-payment. The TV Tax extortioners at Crapita are well-renowned for breaking the law when pursuing people who can't pay the TV Tax.

    The BBC actively sends people to prison for watching television. And then the arrogant fuckers have the gall to criticise 'human rights abuses' elsewhere. Employing Crapita to do the dirty work doesn't stop the BBC being extorting gangsters.

    Arguments about the BBC's "good value" are irrelevant. If Tesco as the dominant force were allowed to charge everyone in the country £20, even if they shopped at Asda, there'd be a national outcry about abuse of position. What the BBC do is no different at all. The TV Tax, if it exists at all, should be top-sliced to support all broadcasters' community output and the BBC's commercial arm should be made to pay for itself.

    I think you'd find very quickly that Wossy would stop getting £6m a year if the BBC could go bankrupt as a result of their commercial decisions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The BBC are a broadcaster. They're not the police. They're not the Crown Prosecution Service. They're not part of the Justice system. And they do NOT "send people to jail".

    Let's be clear about that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You don't need to be the police to investigate and bring evidence against someone and push the CPS to charge for all they're worth though. It's a tricky situation though, because the BBC is world class and watched around the world even if Kermit believes otherwise (its the standard of public tv that all others are compared to really) - and a hefty portion of the licence fee goes towards maintence of the signal transmitters and all that which all the tv companies get to use.

    Though we are the only country afaik with an explicit tv tax. It's outdated if you think about it, just like we used to have a window tax.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    You don't need to be the police to investigate and bring evidence against someone and push the CPS to charge for all they're worth though. It's a tricky situation though, because the BBC is world class and watched around the world even if Kermit believes otherwise (its the standard of public tv that all others are compared to really) - and a hefty portion of the licence fee goes towards maintence of the signal transmitters and all that which all the tv companies get to use.

    Though we are the only country afaik with an explicit tv tax. It's outdated if you think about it, just like we used to have a window tax.
    Interestingly the Spanish government is trying to pass a bill now to remove all advertising from Spain's State-owned TV channels.

    The way I see it, the BBC is an integral part of this country's cultural heritage, and every bit as important as our very best museums, buildings and national trusts.

    Nobody in their right mind would propose selling off the British Museum or Stonehenge to an American citizen to take it all away simply because at present it's maintained through public money and it is not fair on those taxpayers who don't care for them. Fuck that.

    The same principle applies to the BBC. The BBC is a completely unique institution and one that only exists because of the way it is funded. Remove the licence, it all that would be lost forever. That mustn't be allowed. Ever.

    If it is, then I shall write a list of the things in this country I don't use or give a shit about, and duly expect my taxes to be reduced accordingly since I shouldn't be financing them either.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Interestingly the Spanish government is trying to pass a bill now to remove all advertising from Spain's State-owned TV channels.

    The way I see it, the BBC is an integral part of this country's cultural heritage, and every bit as important as our very best museums, buildings and national trusts.

    Nobody in their right mind would propose selling off the British Museum or Stonehenge to an American citizen to take it all away simply because at present it's maintained through public money and it is not fair on those taxpayers who don't care for them. Fuck that.

    The same principle applies to the BBC. The BBC is a completely unique institution and one that only exists because of the way it is funded. Remove the licence, it all that would be lost forever. That mustn't be allowed. Ever.

    If it is, then I shall write a list of the things in this country I don't use or give a shit about, and duly expect my taxes to be reduced accordingly since I shouldn't be financing them either.

    this has to be the first time i have agreed with Aladdin but his 100% right with this
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    The BBC are a broadcaster. They're not the police. They're not the Crown Prosecution Service. They're not part of the Justice system. And they do NOT "send people to jail".

    Actually, it isn't the police who investigate alleged failure to pay the TV Tax, it's the TV Tax collectors. And it's the TV Tax collectors who prosecute. Not simply make the decision to prosecute, but actually stand in front of the Mags and ask for the maximum punishment. The police and CPS are not involved.

    For the avoidance of doubt, the TV Tax collectors are contractors for, erm, the BBC. Until very recently they were actually direct employees of the BBC.

    There are various statutory bodies who can investigate and prosecute crimes, other than the police and CPS. HMRC can investigate and prosecute tax fraud, DWP can do the same for benefit fraud, and RSPCA can do the same for cases of animal cruelty. Your local council can investigate and prosecute you for various acts too, particularly around environmental health issues. The justice system is far more complicated than the police/CPS route that most people think of.
    Aladdin wrote: »
    The same principle applies to the BBC. The BBC is a completely unique institution and one that only exists because of the way it is funded. Remove the licence, it all that would be lost forever. That mustn't be allowed. Ever.

    The TV Tax should exist solely to provide broadcasting that wouldn't otherwise be provided by the commercial sector. That would be education and community broadcasting, local radio and local current affairs.

    Much of the BBC's national output would be exactly the same if the BBC was forced to become a commercial entity. Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing won't go anywhere, nor would EastEnders. And I think it's repugnant that direct taxation is being used to pad out the inflated wallets of Bernie Ecclestone and the Premier League.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »

    Much of the BBC's national output would be exactly the same if the BBC was forced to become a commercial entity. Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing won't go anywhere, nor would EastEnders.
    Yeah but those are not the programmes that make the BBC the very best TV and radio broadcaster in the world.

    If the BBC had to rely on advertising revenue then you could kiss a lot of the excellent, high brow programming goodbye, and the BBC would become another ITV or, god fucking forbid, another Sky.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Walking with Dinosaurs was BBC wasn't it? Blue Earth as well?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Radio 4 is worth the license fee alone.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    If the BBC had to rely on advertising revenue then you could kiss a lot of the excellent, high brow programming goodbye

    I don't agree. Much of the BBC's best output recently has been made in conjunction with HBO in America, who are very much a commercial entity. There's nothing to suggest that this would change.

    However my issues with the BBC aren't about 'value for money'. Overall, it's not bad value for money, especially now formula one and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue are back on the beeb.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Getting rid of the BBC isn't the same thing as cutting all public funding of the arts. It just means that programmes that could quite easily survive in a commercial environment, like Strictly Come Dancing or Eastenders aren't taking money away from things that wouldn't, like local news, educational and minority interest programmes, and programmes that give opportunities to new talent.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Radio 4 is worth the license fee alone.

    Definitely, its one the UK's highest cultural achievements of the last 100 years. It is unlike anything else in the World and would never last if the licence was scrapped.

    Having said that though the tv licence as it stands is unfair as costs should be shared by those who can most afford it. But the idea of the BBC going to the government once a year to beg for money is just too horrible to contemplate.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    The same principle applies to the BBC. The BBC is a completely unique institution and one that only exists because of the way it is funded. Remove the licence, it all that would be lost forever.
    I wonder then, what you would think of a recent proposal in the Carter Report saying that £100million per year should be taken off the licence fee and handed to stations such as ITV to make regional news. Michael Grade, ITV's resident cocktrumpet, has been bleating on about his poor old company can't afford to make local news anymore.

    Funny that. When ITV consisted of 15 regional companies around the UK broadcasting in a particular area, they were able to afford it. Now that 11 of those franchises are in the hands of ITV Plc, he suddenly wants us to believe that they can't afford to do it. He must take us for fools - and millions of pounds could be given to a commercial company to make local news programmes if this goes ahead. What do you make of that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    I wonder then, what you would think of a recent proposal in the Carter Report saying that £100million per year should be taken off the licence fee and handed to stations such as ITV to make regional news. Michael Grade, ITV's resident cocktrumpet, has been bleating on about his poor old company can't afford to make local news anymore.

    This 'top slicing' as it has been termed by the BBC is quite misleading, the government is proposing that the money comes from a ring fenced fund for the digital switch over. The BBC current doesnt have this money for programmes or anything else so they wouldnt notice the loss.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    This 'top slicing' as it has been termed by the BBC is quite misleading, the government is proposing that the money comes from a ring fenced fund for the digital switch over. The BBC current doesnt have this money for programmes or anything else so they wouldnt notice the loss.
    That hasn't stopped prominent members of the Beeb whinging about it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's because the BBC, at any level, find it almost impossible to ever tell the truth.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    That hasn't stopped prominent members of the Beeb whinging about it.

    I'm sure they are, but in this situation I think they are wrong. If it is well 'ring fenced' for public interest news and current affairs broadcasting I dont see any problem with this extra money going to other broadcasters. But there would have to be a proper seperation to make sure that more of the BBC licence fee wasnt taken.
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