BBC Expenses Published

There has been a lot of outrage recently about MP's expenses (and rightly so). Some MP's try to justify their claims, saying that they are a way of subisdising what they see as being a low wage. Considering the secrecy surrounding the BBC's wage structure (or lack of), this is just as bad. Whatever happened to people paying for stuff out of their own pockets?

Some expenses detailed include:

• £99.99 claimed by Mr Thompson to pay for a bottle of vintage champagne given to Bruce Forsyth for his 80th birthday last year

• £1,137.55 claimed by former head of audio and music Jenny Abramsky for a dinner to celebrate Terry Wogan's knighthood in 2005

• £238 and £217 for iPods in 2005 and 2007 respectively claimed by former future media and technology director Ashley Highfield

• £500 claimed by BBC Vision director Jana Bennett after her handbag and contents were stolen on official BBC business. This cost was ultimately covered by insurers - not the BBC

• £231.55 claimed by Ms Bennett for a dinner with Jeremy Paxman to discuss the presenter's contract in July 2004

• £100 claimed by Ms Bennett for flowers for Jonathan Ross in May 2006

• £4.99 claimed by deputy director general Mark Byford for a book on the history of QPR football club in September 2007
Why are the BBC happy to have their staff's expenses published, but not their wages? Or are we probably better off not knowing, for fear of our heads falling off with rage?

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