The BBC should reveal the salaries of its highest-paid stars, culture minister Ed Vaizey said yesterday.
Mr Vaizey said executives at the corporation should also publish details of outside work carried out by its broadcasters, such as shows for other channels and magazine columns, to see if there were conflicts of interest.
Speaking during a debate in Westminster Hall on the future of the BBC, Mr Vaizey said it should be funded through the licence fee but warned he wanted to see greater transparency.
One possibility would be to publish the salaries of the BBC’s stars on the internet, as the corporation has already done with its best-paid executives.
He said: “As a personal view, I would like to see greater transparency on salaries. I certainly think talent salaries are something that could be more transparent and outside interests are something that perhaps should be considered for some of the more prominent broadcasters.
“I think viewers have a right to know what additional earnings people who work for the BBC are gaining and whether or not there is a potential conflict of interest.”
Mr Vaizey welcomed the decision to cut the BBC director-general’s salary following the appointment of George Entwistle.
He added: “The issue of salaries constantly exercises members of this House. I think we should recognise that the new BBC director-general George Entwistle will be paid something like a third less than his predecessor – his salary reducing from £671,000 to £450,000.
“That is still a lot of money by anybody’s standards, but this is a man who will be running an organisation of some 22,000 people, with an income of £3.5 billion a year.
“Some of the executives’ salaries do cause concern, but we should also recognise that from a high of about £800,000 the salary of the BBC director-general has come down very considerably.”
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