the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

19 October 2010

BBC staff will be left reeling at today's (19 October) announcement that senior management have accepted a freeze in the licence fee until 2017 at the same time as agreeing to fund BBC World Service and Welsh language channel, S4C, from these reduced resources, says BECTU.

The changes, apparently agreed just today, are said to amount to a 16 per cent cut in the BBC's income, equivalent to some £550m. Only yesterday (18 October) there was speculation that the BBC was to be instructed by government to fund free licences for the over-75s.

Commenting on today's announcement, BECTU general secretary, Gerry Morrissey said:

"BBC staff will be in a state of shock at the scale of today's announcements. We'll be seeking an urgent meeting with senior management to discuss the implications of this appalling news.

"From where we are standing, senior executives appear to have entered into negotiations on the hoof and the result will be largescale damage to the BBC's services with the Corporation taking the flak for badly judged government decisions."

How BBC online reported the news