The corporation has been accused of having “skewed priorities” after shocking figures revealed the BBC spent £125,687 on alcohol between 2015 and 2019. BBC staff spent an eyewatering £73,479 on wine and £33,838 on beer and cider in just four years using supplier Majestic.
According to Freedom of Information figures, £21,904 was spent on booze last year.
While BBC workers racked up £14,606 on sparkling wine in three years between 2016 and 2019.
And £1,328 was spent on spirits in 2018, which was much less in 2019 at £220.
The BBC is funded by the taxpayer, with a £157.50 licence fee per household.
Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said the figures proved the corporation’s “wasteful” spending.
He said: “It’s disgraceful that BBC staff are popping corks at the expense of hard-pressed taxpayers.
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Dennis Read said: “Silver Voices is very concerned about this further evidence of skewed priorities from the BBC.
“How can the BBC justify huge presenter salaries and expenses like this, when thousands of hard-pressed senior citizens are being chased to spend the equivalent of one week’s state pension on the licence fee?
“£23,000 would buy 146 free licences for the over 75s. We would say cheers to that.”
The BBC said the alcohol bill is racked up at events where there is an “appropriate business purpose” including award ceremonies or press launches.
A spokesman said costs on alcohol had fallen “significantly”.
He said: “The BBC has strict rules around the purchase of alcohol meaning costs have been significantly cut in recent years and last year fell again by over 10 per cent.”
It comes after the BBC desperately sought ways to slash £125 million from its budget because of the COVID-19 pandemic and has even asked some staff to apply for voluntary redundancy.
Earlier this year, the organisation asked some of its public service staff if they are willing to take voluntary redundancy to make £125million of savings this financial year.