The Tories just announced really bad news on the day the BBC pay came out

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Wednesday 19 July 2017 14:15
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Picture:(Carl Court/Getty Images)

The BBC is once again under attack, this time over the high salaries of its presenters, journalists, and broadcasters.

In addition to the amount, (214 members of staff are reportedly paid more than the prime minister), many people are criticising the broadcaster for the apparent gender pay gap.

Only one third of the corporation's highest paid talent are women.

Tory John Whittingdale MP, who as culture secretary proposed the BBC reveal star's pay, told the Today Programme on Wednesday morning:

If somebody is earning the equivalent of 1,000 households' licence fees put together, going to one single person, then the licence fee payer deserves to know.

Labour MP for Rhonda, Chris Bryant, called it a Tory policy to attack the BBC.

Pension age increase

On the same day that #BBCpay trended on Twitter and dominated other social media feeds, the government announced changes to the age at which people can claim their pension.

Those in their mid 40s, born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978 will now have to wait an extra year to receive their state pension.

Raising the age to 68 was not supposed to be phased in until 2044.

The cabinet minister responsible David Gauke told the House of Commons:

As life expectancy continues to rise and the number of people in receipt of state pension increases, we need to ensure that we have a fair and sustainable system that is reflective of modern life and protected for future generations,

Changes to the state pension age were expected to be announced in May 2017 following the Cridland Report, but were pushed back to 19 July 2017.

On Thursday MPs will leave Westminster for the summer, preventing immediate debate on the proposed pension changes.

The Scottish Nationalist MP Neil Gray, the party's social justice lead in Westminster, drew a line between the announcement of the BBC pay deal, and the increase in the pension age.

Speaking to indy100 Gray added:

The UK Government's response to the Cridland review into state pensions was supposed to be announced before May, but has been delayed. 

Ministers will also have known today was the day the BBC released the salaries of its top paid stars, which generates huge media interest. People can make up their own minds whether this is coincidence or a cynical attempt to bury bad news by this Tory Government which has just driven up the state pension age for everyone born in the 1970s and beyond. 

More: After a Tory MP demanded the BBC play God Save the Queen, the BBC had the most amazing response

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