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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 July 2017

BBC yawning pay gaps revealed

BBC Broadcasting House in central London, photo Deskana (Creative Commons)

BBC Broadcasting House in central London, photo Deskana (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Baldwin, Bristol Socialist Party

The BBC has been made to reveal all its staff earning over 150,000 a year. The announcement made front page news in most papers, revealing some eye-watering pay.

Chris Evans topped the list on over 2.2 million. It also exposed a shocking gender pay gap with the highest paid woman, Claudia Winkleman, on 'just' 450,000.

While most people only dream of earning this much, the BBC rates still appear to be relatively modest for the entertainment industry. ITV's Ant and Dec apparently earned more than all the 96 named BBC staff put together.

The requirement to reveal top pay was added to the BBC's rules by the Tories as a stick to beat them with and the story was jumped on by all the privately-owned media. They want rid of the BBC to make space in the market for them to profit from.

Nonetheless, the list does show some shocking inequalities. The top seven earners are all men.

There were examples of women being paid less than their male co-stars on the same programme. 40 female stars have written to BBC director general Tony Hall to demand that the gender pay gap be addressed.

Elite

45% of the list were privately educated, compared to just 7% of the population. Only ten of the 96 aren't white.

At the other end of the scale, broadcasting union Bectu has revealed 400 BBC staff earn under 20,000, less than 1% of Chris Evans's pay. Strong national pay bargaining by unions is needed to eliminate the pay gaps and ensure all workers get a fair rate for the job.

Socialists defend the idea of a publicly owned media. But we call for democratic workers' control to ensure fair pay for all.

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