The management acknowledges that the BBC provides “the best journalism in the world” but the cuts outlined this October risk irreparable damage to the much-loved and internationally admired BBC.

The full details of the cuts – which include slashing 2,000 jobs across the BBC - are still emerging as local managers meet with staff across the UK this afternoon to explain the proposals in detail.

The cuts announcement is a direct result of the licence fee settlement clinched behind closed doors last autumn between the Coalition Government and BBC management. The deal froze the licence fee until 2017 and introduced new funding responsibilities for the BBC including the World Service, S4C, BBC Monitoring, local TV and broadband.

The announcement so far represents a 20% cut over 5 years – this is in addition to the 7,000 jobs already lost at the BBC since 2004.

As part of the programme of cuts there will be reductions to business coverage, investigative journalism and foreign news. Between 700-800 jobs will be lost in BBC News. Hundreds of jobs are also at risk in Scotland and Wales. The proposals outline 20% cuts to 5 Live news and plans to reduce the number of specialist reporters on local radio. Other areas under attack include regional current affairs programmes and the Asian Network.

Conditions of staff have also been severely hit – plans include cuts to staff allowances, redundancy terms and re-grading and moves towards statutory redundancy consultation periods and performance related pay. New staff will also be expected to work for substantially lower salaries with worse terms and conditions at work. This will create a two-tier workforce at the BBC.

The plans for staff signal a race to the bottom in terms of working standards for people employed in the media and creative industries. 

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “This is a watershed moment in BBC history. We are stunned that BBC news, BBC radio and quality journalism have received a disproportionate hit today. The cuts risk irreparable damage to the BBC and will inevitably compromise quality journalism and programming.

“The proposals represent an attack on all staff at the BBC and if the plans are implemented they will create a two-tier workforce. They signal a race to the bottom in terms of standards for staff employed at the BBC. 

“The cuts will also go way beyond the 2,000 job losses announced today – the BBC is the driver of the UK’s creative industries and many small independent companies will face an uncertain future as a result. Actors, musicians, writers will also be victims  as the reverberations are felt amongst the creative and media industries.

“Currently the BBC spans the world with well-respected, accurate and reliable information and news. Public service broadcasting is a bench mark for a democratic society and informed citizenship. NUJ members are committed to defending jobs and quality journalism at the BBC and we are asking readers, listeners and viewers to join with us in this battle."

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By MIchael Calderbank

Foreword by Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary


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Based on research commissioned by the TUCG, the book examines why costs have risen for all items of expenditure, ranging from housing and child care to food and transport. He makes practical proposals on how these costs can be reduced. He also delivers an uncompromising message to the leaders of all mainstream Westminster Parties: it is time to end the politics of austerity, an ideological project to cut the size of the state permanently.


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