Sammy Wilson MP attacks BBC ‘fat cat’ payoffs

Sammy Wilson MP
Sammy Wilson MP

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has attacked the government for what he described as its “failure” to deal with large payoffs to employees in major public sector organisations.

Speaking during a debate on the Enterprise Bill in the House of Commons, the DUP man said: “I am disappointed that the NI Assembly and some of its ministers who complain about not having sufficient money refused to allow NI to be included in this bill when it comes to limiting exit payoffs to £95,000.

“However, I find it bizarre that while employees in government departments are to have payments capped some of the serial offenders are exempt from the provisions of the bill. The BBC – which paid more than 12 employees golden handshakes of £150,000 last year, gave its head of religion £350,000 only to re-hire him 12 months later, and handed £450,000 to its Director-General after only 54 days work – will be able to continue to throw away licence payers money with gay abandon.

“Hopefully the government will address this issue during committee stage though given the willingness of the Labour party to reverse the cap on payments it is under no pressure to do so.”

In response to Mr Wilson’s comments, BBC spokesman told the Times: “Tony Hall (BBC Director-General) introduced a cap on severance payments in September 2013 meaning individuals can no longer receive more than £150,000.”