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Bbc To Cut Programme Budget To Fill £2bn Black Hole In Pension Fund

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http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6653140.ece

The BBC will be forced to cut millions of pounds from its programme budgets to plug an estimated £2 billion black hole in its pensions scheme.

The public broadcaster has warned its pension scheme members that in April last year the fund was £470 million in the red. Industry experts said that the plunging stock markets around the world since then would have increased the deficit by a further £1.6 billion.

Jeremy Peat, the chairman of the trustees, admitted that the corporation had set aside “additional funds†from its £3.6 billion licence fee income to reduce the liability.

When the BBC announced that it had a £150 million deficit in 2007 it agreed to pay £23 million a year extra. Paying double to help to shore up the larger hole would be roughly equal to the entire budget of Radio 1 or Radio 3, or 18 months worth of peak-time drama on BBC One.

The disclosure of the deficit follows the revelations about the pension pots accumulated by senior BBC executives.

Mark Byford, the deputy director general, and Alan Yentob, the arts presenter and creative director, have the two biggest pensions in the public sector. Mr Byford is due to receive at least £229,500 a year from a pension pot of £8 million and Mr Yentob £216,667 from a £6.3 million pot.

Pension payments cost the BBC £184 million in the year to April 2008, roughly equivalent to the £1.3 million licence fees paid by the population of Birmingham and Cardiff.

The corporation’s finances have been under closer scrutiny in the past few weeks after the release of the expenses paid out to its senior executives. After a series of freedom of information requests the BBC revealed that its top executives had spent at least £363,000 on expenses over the past five years ranging from a £1,277 trip on a private jet used by Mark Thompson, the Director-General, to a £99.99 bottle of champagne given to Bruce Forsyth on his 80th birthday.

Other public corporations, including the Royal Mail, which has a £7 billion deficit, have also been attempting to deal with shortfalls in their pension schemes brought on by the turbulence of the financial markets.

So serious is BBC’s shortfall that it is considering pledging some of its assets, including its White City headquarters in West London, as a guarantee for its pension fund.

John Whittingdale, the Conservative chairman of the Commons Culture Select Committee, said he would question Mr Thompson on the deficit next week, adding: “The BBC is not the only public sector organisation in this position, but I think the public will find it hard to accept cuts to programming budgets to pay for generous public sector pensions.â€

Excellent I'm paying my licence fee now to fund a pension scheme I'd rather watch repeats.

The entire pension scam is unravelling.

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Indeed.

Of course they could just reduce their pension entitlements like those of us in the private sector............troughing scumbags.

Same old tax robbing filth, different job titles.

A licence to own a TV, in this day and age. WTF are they all smoking. :rolleyes:

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http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6653140.ece

Excellent I'm paying my licence fee now to fund a pension scheme I'd rather watch repeats.

The entire pension scam is unravelling.

Whoa whoa whoa. Hang on. I understood pensions were paid by the individuals from their salaries????

Ahhh, just clicked. This must be employer contributions, not employee.

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Same old tax robbing filth, different job titles.

A licence to own a TV, in this day and age. WTF are they all smoking. :rolleyes:

Me and Mrs SC have just embarked on an experiment. We've put the TV away and have stopped paying. It's amazing how much more time there is in the evening!

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Surely the BBC would save vast amounts of cash by simply dropping broadcasting on many of it's channels during the day? Who on earth watches the telly through the day? Only the retired and feckless and they either don't pay or don't deserve it because they should be doing something more productive. Besides, day time TV is even worse than the sh1te they put on at other times so it's hardly a great cultural loss to the country.

The other thing that has to be asked is why the f4ck do the BBC need so many channels? For instance BBC3/4? Surely, they are basically just duplicates of 1 & 2?

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They have a £4-4.5B budjet.

Just show BBC repeats for 25% of the time and in two years you have dealt with the 2B shortfall.

In fact the BBC should be forced to cover the royal mails shortfall too.

Edited by cells

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Your TV license pays someone's pension whilst you might not get one at all. brilliant.

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Guest eight
The other thing that has to be asked is why the f4ck do the BBC need so many channels? For instance BBC3/4? Surely, they are basically just duplicates of 1 & 2?

You think that's bad, ever listened to Radio 6? Or one of the regional ones?

Apparently Radio 6 had to make up a competition winner because nobody entered. Draw from that your own conclusions about how many listeners they might have at any given time.

eight

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You think that's bad, ever listened to Radio 6? Or one of the regional ones?

Apparently Radio 6 had to make up a competition winner because nobody entered. Draw from that your own conclusions about how many listeners they might have at any given time.

eight

So it's worth listening too then just to enter the competitions to flog the prizes on ebay?

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As soon as this bloody corporation collapses, dies and is ground into the dust, the better.

I am tired of being denied access to the advertising-funded channels because I have to pay a subscription to the BBC services to access them.

I am tired of being denied permission to buy quality television hardware capable of playing my dvd collection, because it comes with a TV tuner and requires me to pay the BBC to simply own it, even if I do not watch their mediocre content.

I do not want or need any of the BBC's content, if it was as so f**king brilliant as the BBC claim it is, it would not require the license fee to obtain funding.

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The output of the BBC has declined in quality for many years now. They are playing to the common demoninator with the drivvel that now passes as 'quality programming'. BBC News 24 is particularly poor IMO. I see no reason why I should pay £12 a month just for the priveledge of having access to things I never watch. Scrap the Licence Fee and scrap the BBC pronto.

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As soon as this bloody corporation collapses, dies and is ground into the dust, the better.

I am tired of being denied access to the advertising-funded channels because I have to pay a subscription to the BBC services to access them.

I am tired of being denied permission to buy quality television hardware capable of playing my dvd collection, because it comes with a TV tuner and requires me to pay the BBC to simply own it, even if I do not watch their mediocre content.

I do not want or need any of the BBC's content, if it was as so f**king brilliant as the BBC claim it is, it would not require the license fee to obtain funding.

surely you would miss Jonathan Ross?

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The output of the BBC has declined in quality for many years now. They are playing to the common demoninator with the drivvel that now passes as 'quality programming'. BBC News 24 is particularly poor IMO. I see no reason why I should pay £12 a month just for the priveledge of having access to things I never watch. Scrap the Licence Fee and scrap the BBC pronto.

Student tuition fees: about £3.5B pa

BBC: about £4B pa

So we choose to have an advert free BBC above free higher education.

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