The BBC has blown £48,000 – equivalent to 330 British households’ TV licence fees – on a couch and a fake TV set in its new Salford studio.
The Sunreports that the Beeb paid over the odds for the setup in order to use it for public tours in Quay House at the Media City UK complex just outside of Manchester.
“It is based on the BBC Breakfast set,” said one BBC source. “The sofa and rest of the £48,000 mock studio allow visitors a hands-on experience.”
Jonathan Isaby, chief exec of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told the Sun: “Licence fee payers will be baffled that so much has been spent on a sofa.
“It’s crucial that the BBC gets value for money as it is hard-pressed families footing the bill.”
Many will also be outraged at the profligate spending considering that the BBC is both slashing jobs and publicly complaining about job cuts.
The TV licence fee, which is a tax imposed on every TV-owning household in Britain, has come up for debate recently, with some politicians trying to turn it into a stealth tax and tie in into households’ council tax bills.
The BBC defended the fake set by saying: “Public tours to BBC North have attracted nearly 50,000 visitors in just over two years with revenues exceeding the cost of the replica set — which gives visitors a chance to try out their presenting skills.”
But the BBC is not tasked with making money. Instead it is supposed to be a public service broadcaster for basic services. Over decades however, the organisation has expanded its remit, and its budget, to being the bloated, £5bn-a-year organisation it is today.
There is increasing support for the TV licence fee to be scrapped, and indeed for the BBC’s domestic services to be fully privatised.
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