The publication of BBC senior executives’ expenses are a stark illustration of the contradiction at the heart of the organisation. It is a public body, paid for by a direct tax, which behaves, in aspects of its business, like a commercial organisation. And not the kind of commercial organisation which, like Microsoft once was, sends all its executives steerage wherever they travel.
Nobody working in the television industry will see these expenses as anything other than the price of doing business. And a relatively modest one at that. To those of us in newspapers and web companies they seem reasonably generous but not wildly out of line; to those struggling in commercial radio, they almost certainly seem profligate.
But to a licence fee payer on £400 a week, the thought of the director general hiring a private plane back to the UK in order to address a public furore over another set of expenses – in this case, creative director Alan Yentob – is very hard to swallow. As is the £500 half cost of a handbag lost by Jana Bennett the director of vision, while on company business.
Photo: BBC News