Taxi fares on the up for BBC executives

BBC taxi fares on the up: PA Photo: Michael Stephens
BBC taxi fares on the up: PA Photo: Michael Stephens
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Taxi fares for top BBC executives have gone up by almost a fifth in the space of a year at a time when the BBC is trying to cut its spending, newly released figures show.

Many areas of spending on accommodation, travel and hospitality for corporation bigwigs have been reduced, with expenses claims overall down 8% year-on-year.

But spending on cabs has risen by 19% in a year, according to the latest quarterly expenses claims released by the BBC, and they were 49% up on the previous quarter.

Among the big claimants was the outgoing chief operating officer Caroline Thomson - paid a salary of £307,000 - who put taxi fare claims amounting to £1,178.97 into the latest batch of claims.

The corporation’s creative director Alan Yentob, who is paid £168,300, spent £822.88 on cars in his quarterly claim.

The BBC publishes claims for all senior managers who earn in excess of £150,000 and it said it had made “significant progress” in reducing expenditure with total expenses down 8% compared to the same period a year earlier.

A BBC spokesman said: “Total expenses have fallen by 15% compared to the previous quarter and down 8% on the same time last year.

“The bulk of our expenses are unavoidable routine costs incurred in running a major international broadcasting organisation. However we continue to be mindful of how we spend public money and have made good progress in tightening our expenditure.”

The BBC said that a “significant proportion” of the taxi spend for the quarter was due to a change in the charging system which meant journeys for the previous quarter had been added into the latest claims.