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Lies, damned lies and the pay rises you and I will be funding for rich women at the BBC

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 30 January 2018

PWC has today produced a report on the gender pay gap at the BBC. The state owned broadcaster funded by all of us via our taxes and by the poll tax which is the license fee, is wilfully misinterpreting the results in order to justify pay rises to some already rich and overpaid female staff.

The PWC report found that the media gender pay gap among 824 on air staff was 6.8% which it states is lower that the overall BBC average of 9.3%. The BBC website says this compared to a national average of 18%. Unfortunately that is a lie.

The BBC website is comparing apples and pears - median pay and mean pay ( an average skewed by a high number of outliers which is thus discredited). The BBC should have gone to my talk at Bath Spa which has landed me in such hot water so it would understand that error. The national median pay gap is 9% so the BBC is in line with the national norms but critically, its on air staff, fare far better than the national norms.

The BBC however says that this gap is down to gender and must therefore be closed. In that it is making a profound error and not one backed by any evidence at all. Some of the gap is down to gender. There is a gender pay gap. Academic studies - for instance I cite work by my local barking mad Commie Corbynista councillor the sociologist Harriet Bradley on this matter - show that there are many other factors at work so if you close that gap (as the BBC says it will do by 2020)you will be giving a gender bonus to women which is almost certainly not justified.

For instance a key factor in the "gender pay gap" is age. The ONS shows that among 22-39 year olds there is a tiny gender pay gap. Indeed in 2015 women in that age group earned a higher median wage than men. It is among older workers that the gap widens up. Why? Partly it is just changes in society. In Newsrooms in 1980 most folks were men and most graduate entrants were men. The graduates of 1980 are today's top staff. Today graduates are mixed and reflect society so in 40 years so too will the top staff. As the years go this will close that gender gap. Lumping on gender bonuses for all staff now is actually unfair since it will be penalising those with more experience.

There is also the issue of kids. It is a fact that more women than men take career breaks for children so missing out on annual pay rises. That is the case across society and the BBC is not immune . But it is trying to pretend otherwise.

One part of the PWC report that is of note is that the median pay gap in the lowest three of the four on-air job levels PwC examined was 12.6%, in the top level, the gap was 0.4% - but the number of people in this bracket was smaller and the range of salaries much wider. So those big name stars demanding pay rises? Really they have very little to bleat about.

The BBC's response has been to cut the pay of a handful of highly paid men. What it will now do is ratchet up the pay for a raft of already well paid women. And it is we who face jail for not paying our license and who, on average, earn a fraction of what a BBC presenter earns, who must pay for these pay rises based on misinterpreting data.

The real irony is that news is a commodity business which is why, across the West, average salaries in TV news are falling and really are not that high. Only in Britain where the taxpayer is forced to write blank cheques allowing the BBC to skew the overall market, is that trend not occurring.

As one looks at events in Iran and across the world one sees real feminists fighting on real issues that matter to real women. Here in the UK we see grossly overpaid women citing feminism as they misinterpret data in order to get even more money, funded by the most regressive tax the Government imposes.l

That is, I guess, what we call progress: poor folks in the 99% handing over more of their money to the 1%.

I suggest that before folks like Kate Silverton and Fiona Bruce talk more self justifying pompous nonsense they take a short lesson in how to understand data from myself HERE.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
[email protected]
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