By Maximilian Clarke

The BBC today launched a consultation to boost efficiency and to adapt the broadcaster for the future that could see some 2,000 jobs scrapped sparking anger from the Institute of Journalists.

The world’s largest broadcaster is aiming to strip some £670 million from its annual budget by the year 2016/7, effectively reducing its 23,000 workforce by 2,000.

To achieve these savings, BBC management ran a nine-month consultation process with staff discussing the savings which amount to 16% of the Broadcaster’s license fee revenue.

The Director-General set an additional four per cent savings target for reinvestment back into programming areas to boost quality and distinctiveness. The £670m of new savings identified, together with £30m of savings generated by exceeding the targets for the BBC's current efficiency programme, will result in total savings by 2016/17 of 20 per cent.

"The BBC is far from perfect,” said Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, “but it is a great institution and, at its best, a great broadcaster. We have a tough and challenging new licence fee settlement, but it should still be possible to run an outstanding broadcaster on £3.5bn a year.”

Michelle Stainstreet, General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists refuted Patten’s assertion, saying: “You cannot reduce budgets by 20% and pretend that the BBC will still be able to be a world class broadcaster. Quality journalism and programming is inevitably going to be diluted. If the BBC presses ahead with these changes strike action across the corporation seems inevitable.”


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