The BBC Trust's twelve members claimed an average of £1,000 in expenses last year at the expense of TV viewers who are forced to buy a licence to watch TV.
Scotland's representative on the Board was the most expensive. Jeremy Peat claimed a total of £30,976, a monthly average of £2,581. This included £9,800 for air fares and £12,600 for hotels. The Financial Times commented that “Mr. Peat is not a a frequent flyer on no-frills airlines.”
Michael Lyons, a so-called knight who chairs the Trust, took £26,167 of licence holders' money. Rail fares accounted for £7,009 of this. He spent another £5,768 on cars in the course of 12 months and the Trust also contributed £25,000 to the cost of a BBC car and driver for him to use when in London. His hotel bills averaged £210 a night and totalled £8,000.
Another Trustee, Patricia Hodgson also presented a large bill for cars: £5,500. Ms. Hodgson's career has included long periods working for the BBC. Currently she is a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life and a director of the Competition Commission.
TV viewers also paid for expensive televisions, DVD recorders and Sky satellite TV subscriptions for members of the Trust.
The Trust is the BBC's governing body. It claims that it “works on behalf of licence fee payers . . . and ensures good value for all UK citizens”.
It is illegal in the UK to watch the BBC, independent TV channels or satellite TV without a licence from the BBC.