The publicly-funded British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is set to slash 500 jobs from its news service following years of profligate spending.
Earlier today Neil Midgley from Forbes reported that the BBC could cut around 600 jobs in total when recently announced job losses from the BBC Radio division were included. The corporation, which relies on a state-enforced ‘licence fee’ from all TV owners in the UK, said it feared strikes as a result of the cuts.
But the news will delight many who feel the BBC has both grown well beyond its original remit as a public broadcaster for Britain, and has become a breeding ground for left-wing views.
In recent months, numerous campaign groups have emerged urging the BBC to scrap the licence fee, with some even calling for the organisation itself to be folded in the wake of numerous scandals.
“The cuts represent just over 6 per cent – about one in 16 – of the entire headcount in News, which currently employs around 8,000 people. The jobs will go over the next two years.
The announcement could easily herald another autumn of industrial unrest at the BBC, whose staff are highly unionised – the two biggest unions there are the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (Bectu). The unions have already said that this year’s pay offer from the BBC – a below-inflation 1 per cent, subject to a minimum of £390 per year for lower paid staff – is ‘completely unacceptable’.
That workers subsidised by the public use their salaries to unionise against efficiencies in the organisation is viewed as highly suspect by many on the right.
Furthermore, the BBC is often secretive about its spending patterns and internal reports – refusing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and citing a clause that allows it to withhold information used for journalistic purposes.
Earlier this month Breitbart London had a Freedom of Information request completely unrelated to the BBC’s journalistic practices refused. The corporation wrote:
“The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and will not be doing so on this occasion. Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”. The BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.”
A BBC spokesman said: “We’re working at present to deliver savings of £800m a year by 2016/17 and we have said that there are difficult decisions ahead of us. Whilst we need to make savings it would be wrong to comment on speculation.”
The BBC has a budget of around £5bn per year and employs around 20,000 people. Around 3,000 of these are thought to be in the news service. By comparison, Sky News has around 600 staff.