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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 13:31 GMT
262 BBC execs earn over 100,000
Mark Thompson
Director general Mark Thompson waived his bonus earlier this year
The number of top-level BBC executives earning six-figure salaries has more than doubled in the past five years, the corporation has confirmed.

A total of 262 executives are paid in excess of 100,000, compared with 122 in 2001. The BBC has attributed this rise to market forces and inflation.

Broadcasting unions have responded angrily to the figures.

"Low-paid workers are being dismissed as wages for top staff are rising," said Gerry Morrissey of Bectu.

"Bearing in mind the significant increase comes at a time of redundancies across the BBC, many would see this as very bad timing."

'Small percentage'

"With programme-making areas experiencing a significant amount of growth in the independent sector, the competition to attract and retain talented key staff has increased," said a BBC spokeswoman.

"It is worth noting, however, that the number of staff paid at this level is a very small percentage of the overall workforce."

BBC executives accepted bonuses of up to 25% of their salaries last year, though director general Mark Thompson waived his saying "it just wouldn't have felt right".

The corporation plans to shed 20% of its workforce over the next three years to cut costs and free up money to reinvest in programmes.

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