The BBC has spent over £44.5m since 2010 on hotels and accommodation for guests and staff, a freedom of information request by LondonlovesBusiness.com has found. The corporation spent over £10.3m on booking accommodation in 2014, its highest bill in five years.
Last year’s bill was even higher than 2012 and 2013 when the BBC had to make advance bookings for major sporting events like the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Year Money spent
The BBC did not provide a breakdown of the hotel bookings but said that bookings are “made directly by BBC staff” and “the costs are reclaimed via expenses”.
A BBC spokesman said: “Strict guidelines have seen the average cost per hotel booking cut by over 20% in the last five years. BBC journalists and programme-makers need to stay somewhere when they are expected to report on major events and breaking global news or film things like natural history on location around the world.”
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive, The TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The BBC is a national organisation so it makes sense that some travel will be necessary, but the costs have to be minimised as much as possible. The Licence Fee represents a significant financial burden for hard-pressed families, and those at the BBC should use it as if it were their own.”
The BBC thinks it has an open ended licence to print money, not only through the expenses it pays (and who is still commuting from London to Salford after Radio 5 moved there?) but also the inflated salaries paid to senior managers (are you listening Alan Yentob?).
The BBC needs a radical overhaul, strip out the Oxbridge cabal and cosy relationship between those in charge at the BBC and the gravy train that has formed for Oxbridge students to gain access to the BBC.