Not so long ago I wrote how I was fed up about hearing about the expenses Members of Parliament have claimed and now had to pay back, even though many were within the rules. We all know now that the rules are shoddy to say the least and if they had thought a bit more about what they were doing, democracy wouldn’t be in it’s current state.
I also made the point that if you analysed the expeneses of other public bodies perhaps they wouldn’t be as squeaky clean as they would like.
And now we get chance to have a look at some of the expenese claimed by the BBC. Yes that’s the BBC funded by you and me:-
• £99.99 claimed by Mr Thompson to pay for a bottle of vintage champagne given to Bruce Forsyth for his 80th birthday last year
So the taxpayer pays for an expensive gift from one highly remunerated public sector employee to another. Pay it back!
• £1,137.55 claimed by former head of audio and music Jenny Abramsky for a dinner to celebrate Terry Wogan’s knighthood in 2005
A jolly paid for by the taxpayer? Who signed that one off? Pay it back!
• £238 and £217 for iPods in 2005 and 2007 respectively claimed by former future media and technology director Ashley Highfield
Buy your own ipod. I’m sure a technology director can afford it. Pay it back
• £500 claimed by BBC Vision director Jana Bennett after her handbag and contents were stolen on official BBC business. This cost was ultimately covered by insurers – not the BBC
Why on earth was she allowed to use company expenses to claim for that theft. My satnav was stolen. I run my own company. I can’t claim that loss on expenses.
• £231.55 claimed by Ms Bennett for a dinner with Jeremy Paxman to discuss the presenter’s contract in July 2004
I would have thought given he earns more than an MP he could pay for his own dinner. Will he pay it back, or perhaps she will?
• £100 claimed by Ms Bennett for flowers for Jonathan Ross in May 2006
Pay it back… he can but his own flowers given the millions of pounds he gets as salary funded by the taxpayer.
• £4.99 claimed by deputy director general Mark Byford for a book on the history of QPR football club in September 2007
Is that needed for him to do the job? Don’t think so. Pay it back!
Update:- The PDFs of the expense claims are there for all to see. I wonder if papers will get their journos to trawl through them all like they did with MPs? I mean for example £500 paid as just the deposit for the executive Christmas Dinner.. sounds alot doesn’t it. Wonder what the limit was for that jolly?
Congestion charge? Funny – I worked in the public sector in London and I don’t think that was covered by my expenses. Why does Mark Thompson get that paid for by us?
I wonder what the difference between a dinner to discuss current issues, a dinner to discuss current topics and a dinner to discuss current projects? Either way… lots of dinners and lunches come to that!