Friday, 8 June 2012

Who benefits at the BBC?

If you managed to suffer Question Time last night then you might have missed this :

David admits to getting winter fuel allowance 

This proves that benefits do need to be means tested, I will take a bit of a guess and say David is not living in poverty, Indeed some may suggest he is part of the 1% of top earners.

I was always under the impression that the welfare state was set up to be a safety net for those in need? for those in between jobs, for the sick and disabled. Yet now we are in a position where the poorest taxpayers are funding the benefits of those better off than themselves.

And we wonder why the benefits bill is high?

In a totally un-related story The Telegraph reported on the 23rd of March this year that some BBC staff were paid through companies to avoid paying tax (this is perfectly legal ).

The Telegraph says :

"The corporation said “around 3,000” workers bill the BBC through personal service companies under deals which allow them to make their own tax arrangement rather than being paid through the PAYE system.
The broadcaster admitted that 31 of these people are paid more than £100,000 a year without having tax deducted at source, while five earn more than £150,000 annually.
However, the true figure could be higher as the BBC said it excluded “talent” such as high-profile presenters and reporters, as well as people working in commercial subsidiaries, including BBC Worldwide."

Wow! who would have thought that , BBC staff avoiding tax and receiving state benefits.

Youtube video via @liarpoliticians


  1. Good post Billy as always. I agree it is a scandal that BBC employees - effectively state employees because of the way the corporation is funded - should be allowed to avoid paying tax in this way. There are significant numbers in the public sector (proper) like the NHS who do exactly the same: paid by taxpayers but avoiding paying their share back in. Cannot be right and time something was done.

    Regarding the means testing though, I think older people should qualify by right and that the cost of administering a means test would be higher than not bothering with it. If some pensioners have worked hard and saved and managed their income, why should they be penalised in favour of people who didn't or who perhaps didn't work at all during their working lives?

    If you means test everything, you start nullifying the motivation to go out to work - which is a trap that has made it more difficult to people off of welfare and back to work (because they'd be no better off) by the last Government. Blair looked at it, recognised it as a problem, got Frank Field to take up the issue, but then saw it was a bit difficult and quietly put it into the 'too difficult' drawer. At least IDS is trying to do something now.

  2. Excellent post Billy.

    The benefits bill is so high because Brown created an incredibly complicated Tax Credits system designed to keep people voting Left by giving them their own money back (minus admin fees). Everyone seems too scared to tackle that.

    The key problem with the LibDems idea to raise the entry level tax allowance is that once you don't pay income tax you start to believe in the Magic Money Tree. The flow of cash is all (apparently) in one direction...towards you.

    No responsibility, just the power to vote for more of the same. Why would you ever vote for a fiscally responsible approach ever again? After all, it might get taken away for the trivial reason that our descendants should have a deficit-free future.

    Can't be having that, can we? Bread and circuses. That'll distract them...

  3. One might recall that an original aspect of the welfare state was that it was universal, i.e. everyone benefited. It was even referred to in parliament as the Universal Welfare State if you look up the old Hansards.

    But, as we all realised, it was a con because it was unfunded just like old age pensions and the National Health Service. The deal was that the people in need today would be paid for by the people working today and that the latter would be paid for, when they in turn retired or fell ill, by the people who were working in the future.

    So far, so bad. Those who were working, and consequently paying a larger and larger percentage of their income to support the others, at least could reflect that their turn would come. Now, if the deal is changed to means testing, what about someone who has worked 45 years in expectation of their turn as part of the original deal. Oh! Too bad! We have changed our mind!

    The whole scheme (or should I say scam) is another giant Ponzi operation bereft of any morality.

    How would these people have voted (especially for the "caring" socialist parties) had they known that the rules would change to exclude them?

    Why stop there? Why not stop OAP for anyone of retirement age if they can be shown to have income and/or wealth?

  4. It is indeed a Ponzi scheme.

    Unfortunately the only way to (partially) do anything about fixing it is to correct the misunderstanding that many have:

    "I've paid into this all my life and I deserve..."

    They think there's a bank account or maybe an earthenware pot kept in a specially constructed bunker in Norfolk where their [cough] National Insurance contributions [cough] tax has been stored for return. In real coins.

    There's no written contract that you're going to get any pension at 65 - it's just a hope. Maybe an expectation, but a gamble we take nevertheless. Labour even got a successful court ruling saying that a manifesto commitment wasn't binding FFS. So people should never assume.

    The truth is that these things will be cut or trimmed because they need to be.

    Politicians need to say that out loud but never will do. Electoral suicide.

    1. Quite right, Eye.

      But being the perverse type I am, I like fighting the left back with their weapons of choice. Rousseau's Social Contract is one such chestnut. I am simply looking (tongue firmly in cheek) for delivery from the state where delivery on the individual's side has been made in full and the nation has defaulted. They cannot have it both ways - not under any morally acceptable code.

      As I see it, any outstanding obligations of individual to state fall away (n.b. Tacit Consent withdrawn). In recognition of that, I emigrated.