BBC accounting ‘on the back of fag pack’

In a report to be sent to culture Minister Tessa Jowell, ITV has claimed that
the BBC has used ‘back-of-a-fag-packet figures’ to overstate the need for an
above-inflation hike in the cost of a television licence.

ITV’s chief executive, Charles Allen, said: ‘The BBC’s back-of-a-fag-packet
figures should come with their own health warning. They systematically underplay
their estimates for savings and efficiencies and overplay their funding

These comments come after the BBC asked the government to approve a
licence-fee rise of 2.3% above inflation over the next seven years – taking it
to an estimated £180 by 2013, The Daily Telegraph reported.

ITV said the BBC was creating ‘super-inflation’ to justify increased spending
demands by paying hug salaries to star presenters like Terry and Jonathan Ross,
making it difficult for commercial rivals to compete.

ITV’s report was put together by Indepen Consulting, and argues that if the
BBC operated more efficiently and increased its productivity, licences should
remain at the current rate of £131.50.

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