Yesterday, a furious outcry erupted after it was discovered that the BBC’s leader had received a £75,000 pay raise, bringing his annual salary to £525,000.
When over-75s were robbed of their free TV licence, campaigners argued it was an “absolute outrage” that the corporation was filling the coffers of director-general Tim Davie.
Top pay would “come under the microscope in any future BBC arrangement,” according to a government source.
When he took over from Tony Hall, Mr Davie backed axing the benefit for over-75s, and after a year in the job, he is getting a 16.6% pay raise.
Around 260,000 senior subscribers have not paid the £159 yearly fee and are now being visited by TV Licensing officers for so-called customer care visits.
“Millions of older people will be livid at this gross example of hypocrisy by the BBC Board,” said Dennis Reed, director of advocacy group Silver Voices.
“While claiming they couldn’t afford to restore free TV licences for over-75s, they fork out £75,000 extra for the man who implemented the decision to scrap them. This increase alone would finance nearly 500 free licences.”
Mr Davie, who receives a chauffeured automobile as part of his job, earns an extra £1,442 per week, or roughly ten times the minimal state pension.
Tory “Less than a week ago, Mr Davie was sat in front of my committee taking the plaudits for having reduced top stars’ pay.” said Julian Knight, head of the Commons culture committee. The mouth is left “with a bitter taste.”
“This will rub salt into the wounds already hurting older pensioners struggling to pay their licence fees”, Lord Foulkes, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Older People, stated.
Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker is the highest-paid celebrity, earning between £1,360,000 and £1,364,999 per year, while radio host Zoe Ball is the second-highest earner, earning between £1,330,000 and £1,334,999 per year. Last summer, the free licence was reduced to save £400 million per year. Around 4.2 million people were affected, and £65 million was spent to get over-75s to pay.
“Tim Davie’s current salary remains lower than what he earned at BBC Studios and is well below other UK broadcasting chief’s pay,” a BBC spokesman said.