Britons furious at BBC salary as free over-75s TV licence scrapped ‘Out of touch!’

Steve Carson was named as the new director of BBC Scotland on Wednesday, replacing Donalda MacKinnon, which Express.co.uk understands is a six-figure salary position. The appointment comes as the universal free TV licence for over-75s has been axed in a controversial move.

Express readers fumed about the scrapping of the TV licence while paying senior staff eye-watering salaries.

One commented: “They can’t afford free licences for over 75s but can afford to pay a six-figure salary to him and he becomes one of the very very many on six-figure salary at the BBC the BBC should be cutting back on these high earners.”

Another wrote: “That’s the trouble the top brass earn too much money and they think they are entitled to it.”

A third blasted: “BBC has had its day! Stand on your own two feet rather than relying on a hidden TAX because that’s what the licence fee is!

“All the lies over the last decades of its compulsory taking taxpayers hard-earned cash!

“You should be ashamed of yourselves! It’s a Con trick no more no less.”

Another said: “Scrap the BBC a load rubbish wouldn’t last long without our money gravy train for them that work there.”

A fifth commented: “This is why we have to pay for the license as they pay stupid salaries. I still will not be paying for rubbish.”

READ MORE: BBC TV licence fee plot savaged as over-75s offered way to fight back

“Year after year Auntie confounds British taxpayers with reports of sky-high salaries often well in excess of what the Prime Minister earns. 2020 is clearly no exception.

“Instead of taxing ever more people, the BBC should move on from the outdated licence fee model and embrace a more modern, and fair, alternative.”

The BBC will now means-test the entitlement and over-75s must receive pension credit to receive the free TV licence, which costs £157.50.

Age UK branded the end of the free licences fee for all over-75s a “sad day for our older population”.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, said that “more than half a million of the poorest pensioners will still have to pay for a licence, cut spending on other essentials like food or heating, give up TV altogether or keep watching without a licence, in breach of the law” because they still do not qualify for pension credit.

She added: “It is deplorable that any older person should have to make such a horrible choice.”

The BBC agreed to take on responsibility for funding free TV licences for over-75s as part of the charter agreement with the Government in 2015.

But it has insisted it cannot afford to continue the universal entitlement.

A BBC spokeswoman said “it was the Government that ended funding for over-75s TV licences” and that the “BBC has made the fairest decision possible to support the poorest, oldest pensioners”.

The BBC had delayed the changes to free TV licences for over-75s due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Mr Carson’s appointment, a BBC spokeswoman said: “This is not a new role.

“Steve Carson is replacing the current director of BBC Scotland who is retiring at the end of the year, so there is no additional cost to the organisation with this appointment.”


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