The BBC has told thousands of workers to go ‘off the books’ to cut its tax bill.
Ministers have banned personal service companies in the public sector in all but exceptional circumstances and are now under pressure to do the same with the public broadcaster
Those using the companies can pay the lower corporation tax rate of 21 per cent instead of the 40 per cent income tax paid by high earners.
Avoiding national insurance saves the BBC millions of pounds. Last week it emerged that 148 of its presenters are ‘off the books’, along with 3,000 other workers.
Zarin Patel, the BBC’s finance chief, has said service companies are standard ‘custom and practice’ in the broadcasting industry. She said no one had been forced to use one.