BBC Licence Fee Lobbying Circle Jerk

With impeccable timing, every MP has received a DVD and slurpy letter from the BBC’s lobbying wing.

Ostentatiously designed to show MPs the quality of recent BBC work, it’s no coincidence that the targeted lobbying campaign has taken place in the same week that Whittingdale launches his BBC Charter Review Green Paper.

The BBC really don’t help their cause sometimes.

Using licence fee payers’ cash to lobby MPs not to cut the licence fee because – as they claim – there is no room for cuts in the corporation.

Here is an easy rump saving: say goodbye to the ‘Head of Corperate Affairs’. And his entire lobbying team…

Roll Call of Luvvies: BBC Turkeys Protest Christmas

Some surprise names on the list of celebs who have written in the Telegraph today calling on everyone to “leave the BBC alone”.

Why would they bite the hand that feeds them?

Other shock signatories include:

  • Claudia Winkelman (Strictly)
  • Adil Ray (Citizen Khan)
  • Jamie Oliver (BBC made him)
  • Prof Brian Cox (Ubiquitous across the corporation)
  • Nick Grimshaw (Radio 1)
  • Trevor Nelson (Radio 2)
  • Reggie Yates (various youth shows)
  • Clara Amfo (Radio 1)
  • Annie Nightingale (Radio 1)
  • Michael Palin (BBC documentaries)
  • David Attenborough (ditto)

Almost as if they’re worried about bumper Beeb salaries being in the firing line…

BBC Spins For its Life

The BBC’s war on waste continues with an expensive cinematic advert that is never off our screens at the moment. It is being dutifully tweeted out by all of the Beeb’s top names:

The BBC say the expensive production was commissioned to “celebrate the unique role that the BBC plays in all of our lives”:

“For waking us up, and getting us going. For making us laugh, and making us cry. For expanding our minds, and broadening our horizons. For standing us on the shoulders of giants, for taking us to new worlds. For all our hopes, and our dreams. For not just watching, but living too. For all the days of our lives and all the moments we share. For all of us.”

Guido would FoI how much licence fee payers’ money was spent on this waffle, but transparency isn’t Auntie’s strong point.

Almost as if they are taking advantage of their massive media monopoly to beam propaganda into the nation’s front rooms, ahead of the coming battle for their future…

Meanwhile, in a bid to show that he’s getting it, moany-Tony Hall is re-announcing his cap on resettlement payments. Media Guardian report:

“The BBC has revealed that its bill for redundancy payments fell by 30% to £18m last year as it begins a fightback against Conservative criticisms that it has become wasteful and is squeezing out commercial rivals.

The broadcaster’s annual report, which is published on Tuesday, will argue that a decision by the director general, Tony Hall, to cap severance deals at £150,000 has already resulted in significant savings…”

The BBC-Guardian Axis of Liberals gearing up for counter-attack to defend BBC’s monolithic status quo…

Budget Live: Everything You Need to Know

  • Deficit forecast: 3.7% in 2015/16, 2.2% in 2016/17, 1.2% in 2017/18, 0.3% in 2018/19, SURPLUS 0.4% in 2019/20
  • NHS: £8 billion more a year, on top of previous £2 billion commitment. £10 billion yearly real terms rise.
  • Public sector pay: Pay rises frozen at 1% for four years.
  • Tax avoidance: £750 million for HMRC to go after tax evaders.
  • Non-doms: Abolishing permanent non-dom tax status.
  • Banks: Bank levy reduced, new 8% surcharge on bank profits.
  • Transport: Tax on new cars to go into new roads fund. Fuel duty remains frozen this year.
  • Higher education: Student maintenance grants replaced with loans from 2016-17.
  • Devolution: More devolved powers for Manchester. Devolution for Sheffield, Liverpool and Leeds. Oyster cards for the North.
  • Housing: Mortgage tax relief for buy to let landlords restricted to basic rate.
  • Inheritance tax: Threshold increased to £1 million in 2017.
  • Business: Annual Investment Allowance for small and medium sized firms raised to £200,000.
  • Corporation tax: Corporation tax cut to 19% by 2017 and 18% by 2020.
  • Welfare: New youth obligation to earn or learn, no housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.
  • Childcare: Free childcare for 3/4 year olds of up to 30 hours a week.
  • Disability: ESA for new claimants cut by £30 a week.
  • Welfare: working age benefits frozen for four years.
  • Housing: Rents in social housing to be cut by 1% a year for next four years.
  • Tax credits: Threshold at which tax credits withdrawn down from £6420 to £3850
  • Benefit cap: Cut to £23,000 in London and £20,000 elsewhere.
  • Child tax credits: Limited to two children from 2017.
  • Tax: Personal allowance raised to £11,000. Higher rate threshold raised to £43,000.
  • Defence: spending to increase at least in line with inflation every year, commitment to 2% of GDP.
  • Wages: Introducing new compulsory National Living Wage from next April, £9 an hour for over 25s by 2020.

What the Welfare Budget Looks Like Minus Pensions

Counting pensions as an old age ‘benefit’ has provided lefties with data-based ammunition against small state conservatives who want to slash the welfare bill. Looking at the graph below, targeting proportionally tiny housing benefits or tax credits looks futile – superficially at least – when 42% of the ‘welfare’ budget is spent on pensions:

You can see why lefties love using this statistic – it grossly skews the welfare bill to make it look like we hardly spend anything on the things their opponents want to cut.

So what does the welfare budget look like if we take pensions out of the equation?

This truer reflection of the welfare budget sees the other slices of the pie double in size.

30% of the non-pensions budget is spent on family benefits, income support and tax credits, some £45 billion.

Housing makes up closer to 20%, £26 billion.

A much clearer illustration of what we spend on welfare than lefties and the ONS would have us believe…

Out-of-the-Loop Chris Bryant Hasn’t a Clue

As Guido revealed in this week’s Sun on Sunday:

“The BBC has announced 1,000 jobs are to go as part of a £150 million round of cuts. These job losses would cover just £50 million of the sum, however, leaving another £100 million awaiting Aunty’s axe.

Guido hears that the BBC’s little-watched 24-hour News Channel is in the firing line, with plans afoot to shift the operation online and stop broadcasting on telly. BBC bosses are waiting until this week’s budget before a final decision.”

A story which caused a certain degree of scepticism from the impeccably dis-connected Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:

That would be our double-sourced drivel from senior BBC sources. 48 hours later, Media Guardian confirms Guido’s Sun exclusive:

“The BBC is considering making its news channel online only following a similar cost-cutting move for its BBC3 TV channel, it has emerged.

Work had already started on assessing the impact of making the news channel online only before the government unveiled a surprise licence fee settlement on Monday… A final decision about the channel has yet to be made.”

As Guido explained, the Beeb has a £100 million spending black hole to fill. Media Guardian reports the News Channel’s overall costs are just over £100 million:

“In the last BBC annual report, it said the channel’s production costs were £26.8m, while its newsgathering costs were £21.2m. In addition, the news channel spent £48.7m on content, £8m on distribution and £9.5m on infrastructure/support in 2013/14 and taking it online only would prove cheaper for the BBC, which is looking to make savings.”

If Chris needs any further help with his brief, he knows where to come…

UPDATE:  The Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Bryant tweets:

EU Blows Cash on Racing Lithuanian Horse, Belarusian Tractor and Latvian Minivan

Guido was perhaps unfairly sceptical about the merits of ‘European Co-Operation Day‘ after watching their taxpayer-funded propaganda ‘rap’. Who can argue with what they spent their budget on previously?

According to their promotional literature, “Highlights from the past European Cooperation Day campaigns include a swimming marathon between Greece and Albania…”

“… a classical concert in a cross-border cave between Hungary and  Slovakia…”

“… 28 artistic companies, 140 performers, 40 acts and over 100 performances from France and the United Kingdom…”

And, best of the lot, “a race between a Lithuanian horse, a Belarusian tractor, and a Latvian minivan…”

Why do they do all this? The pamphlet explains:

“Does a bird know when it has flown over the border between France and Spain? Does a river change its course when it flows from Austria to Slovakia? Problems that we face nowadays —pollution, viruses, unemployment, storms, ageing population— are not limited by borders. Our ways of dealing with these problems should also overcome borders. That is why territorial cooperation is an essential tool for Europe”

When will the madness end?

How Welfare Spending Increased By £28 Billion Under the Coalition

Ahead of tomorrow’s Budget, Guido’s interactive chart shows just how well George Osborne did at cutting welfare spending during the last parliament:

The massively increased spending on pensions makes up most of the overall rise, though it is debatable whether old age ‘benefits’ should be included in the welfare budget.

That said, spending on sickness and disability benefits increased by some £7 billion.

The housing bill went up by almost £4 billion.

There was a small drop in the cost of unemployment benefits.

Overall, between 2010 and 2014, total spending on welfare increased by £28 billion.

Austerity? What austerity?

EU’s Taxpayer-Funded Rap, Graffiti and Skateboards Propaganda Video

To mark European Co-operation Day, your EU taxpayers’ money has been spent on this three minute long song serenading the “success” of the European project:

Lyrics include:

“It wasn’t always easy / 

But look at our success

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Double Living Wage Hypocrisy Shocker

“Keep the living wage alive,” argues one of many articles published by the Fabian Society calling for a mandatory Living Wage.

It’s a bit of a theme: “a voluntary expansion of living wage employers” is not enough, they say.[…]

+ READ MORE +

At Last! BBC Axe First 1,000 Jobs

An £150 million shortfall in the BBC’s licence fee income means 1,000 jobs are to be axed.

Back of a fag packet maths would point to these thousand employees being on £150,000 each…

UPDATE: The Beeb say this round of […]

+ READ MORE +

Dave Kills Mood at Summer Party With Rant About Surveillance

Dave used last night’s champagne fuelled Tory summer ball to go off on one about terrorists and mass surveillance.

Speaking to a 850 strong crowd at a packed Hurlingham Club, Cameron said he was all for Muslims who call out […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Ken Clarke tells the Ben Fellows trial:

“The idea that I would go strolling off in order to grope a man in an office is highly unlikely.”

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