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Price of ties cited as sign of idiocy

IF YOU are a BBC newscaster you might get pounds 125 to spend on your neck tie. But don't blow it all on parking your car. A car park space at Broadcasting House will set you back pounds 3,000 a year.

The surreal world of BBC economics and the sometimes equally surreal measures being taken to bring them under control were disclosed at the festival yesterday. Steve Morrison, managing director of Granada Television, was proposing, unsuccessfully as it turned out, a motion that the BBC was destroying itself from within. His researchers had obtained examples of financial measures gone haywire - not disputed by the deputy director general, Bob Phillis, who was opposing the motion.

'The system,' Mr Morrison said, 'is out of control, incoherent, unstoppable. Tales of idiocy are becoming legion. pounds 5 light bulbs, pounds 25 library fees and pounds 125 neck ties . . . All business units will be charged fees for using existing BBC car parks. At White City a space costs pounds 350 a year, at Broadcasting House the figure is pounds 3,000. Not a bad business, car parks: that's a cool half million they have just made - out of programme budgets.'