Labour could cut BBC salaries if elected - source

Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA
Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA
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BBC TV stars such as Gary Lineker could face significant pay cuts if Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister, a Labour source has indicated.

The source confirmed that Labour’s promise of a maximum 20 to one ratio between the highest and lowest paid staff in public sector organisations would apply to those directly employed by the BBC.

The comment came after Prime Minister Theresa May said the figures released by the BBC on salaries of on-air talent showed that “there are some people who are working in the public sector who are very well paid”.

Mr Corbyn made no comment on BBC salaries during the final session of Prime Minister’s Questions before the summer recess, when he concentrated his attack on the Government’s record on low pay.

But a source later told reporters that policies in Labour’s manifesto designed to tackle income inequality - including the maximum pay ratio in the public sector, a higher income tax rate for the top 5% of earners and an excess pay levy on organisations with staff on more than £330,000 - would apply to the BBC.

READ MORE: List of BBC salaries of Scottish stars earning over £150k

Stars employed indirectly through independent production companies would not be caught by the pay ratio, he said.
The source also said that the gender pay gap exposed by the BBC figures was “obviously wrong”, adding that Labour was “committed to gender equality audits enforced through law”.
A senior Conservative source said Mrs May also backed action to reduce the gap between male and female pay, though he declined to say whether salaries should be raised or cut to achieve equality.
The Tory source said Mrs May was “very pleased” that the BBC has published the salary information and believed it should continue to do so.
“It is as a result of the changes that we put in place as part of the BBC charter around transparency,” he said.
“It’s an important thing that licence fee payers know where their money is going.
“As (BBC Director-General Lord) Tony Hall has said, it has thrown up some interesting information with regards to the gender pay gap that he wants to see tackled. We also want to see it tackled.
“We think that in order for that to happen, this is a very important tool and we would like to see the BBC continue to publish it.”

READ MORE: BBC release wages of staff earning over £150,000