POLITICS

BBC Top Earners Would Face Huge Pay Cut If Jeremy Corbyn Was Prime Minister

Gary Lineker's pay would fall from £1.75m to £200k.

19/07/2017 13:24 | Updated 19 July 2017
Ian Lawrence via Getty Images

Gary Lineker, Chris Evans and other high earning BBC staff would see their wages slashed dramatically under a Labour government, it was confirmed today.

Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman said the party’s pay ratio policy - which means no employee can earn more than 20 times the salary of the lowest paid worker - would apply to the BBC.

That means the top earning employees at the broadcaster would earn £202,800 a year if the BBC paid an 18 year old the minimum wage of £5.20 an hour.

If the BBC wanted to keep paying Lineker £1.75million a year, it would have to adopt a minimum wage of £87,500 for its lowest earning workers.

The broadcaster today released pay information for its top earners, revealing that Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans is the highest paid star and took home at least £2.24m last year.

Gary Lineker earned  at least £1.75m, while Graham Norton (£850,000), and Jeremy Vine (£700,000) were among the other top earners.

Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon, the Labour leader’s spokesman said: “We regard the growing inequality in incomes and pay and the excess pay at the top end as being a problem.

“Jeremy and the whole Labour party has raised that continually during the election campaign and subsequently.”

When asked if Corbyn would limit the amount BBC stars could earn, the spokesman said that as the broadcaster is a public sector organisation, Labour’s 20-1 pay ratio would kick in.

“In the public sector we are committed to a direct limit [on earnings]”, he replied.

The published figures revealed a huge gender pay gap among the best known and highest paid BBC presenters, the corporation was forced to reveal today.

The top four male presenters were collectively paid almost four times the total amount of the top four female presenters.

The top female earners were ‘Strictly’ host Claudia Winkleman (at most £499,999), the ‘One Show’s’ Alex Jones (at most £449,999), Fiona Bruce and Tess Daly (both at most £399,999).

Asked if he was ashamed by the pay gap exposed by today’s figures, Director General Tony Hall told a press conference on Wednesday: “I’d say I am reinvigorated in achieving equality by 2020 between men and women.”

Asked whether the revelation of a gender pay gap will mean the list becomes a “lawyer’s charter” for those women who challenge the disparity in pay, Hall said the BBC would continue to talk to its top talent.

Just nine women earned over £250,000 while 25 men earned that amount.

The annual report also reveals:
  • A £50k difference in pay between ‘One Show’ presenters Matt Baker and Alex Jones
  • A £200,000 difference in pay for BBC News presenters Huw Edwards and Fiona Bruce
  • Sports presenter Gary Lineker earned eight times as much as colleague Gabby Logan

Of those considered “multi-genre” presenters, such as Evans, the top four male presenters earned at least three and half times the top amount earned by four women in the category.

Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society Chief Executive: “BBC high pay data revealed today shows that women are under-represented and undervalued at the top of the corporation.

“The question the BBC has to answer is can this be objectively justified or does this reveal institutional sexism?

“We welcome Tony Hall’s commitment to close the gender pay gap by 2020. Fawcett will hold him to that and we stand ready to help.” 

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