Leading article: Memo to the BBC... don't leave your tax affairs open to attack

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The Independent Online

The Chair of the Public Accounts Committee was not pulling her punches yesterday. According to Margaret Hodge, taxpayer-funded organisations have a "moral duty" to ensure staff are employed in a way that contributes, through the tax system, to the public purse.

The target? The BBC, specifically its practice of paying nearly a third of presenters through "personal service companies". Finance director Zarin Patel gave some credible responses, not least that freelancing is central to the broadcast business. But the matter should not end here. Too many questions still need answers. What, for example, do the 148 presenter/companies do, and for how long, compared with their counterparts on the staff?

Given public concern, the BBC is to review its arrangements. Quite right, as much as anything to ensure it is not handing ammunition to its critics.