Credit crunch begins to bite at the BBC

The BBC has banned Champagne and is clamping down on lavish Christmas parties in a effort to cut back on spending.

Last week a memo was circulated to all staff saying that it would no longer foot the bill for Champagne and it has been revealed that the budget for this year's staff Christmas parties will also be cut by 50 per cent.

In addition, free tea and coffee will now only be provided for staff at meetings lasting longer than two hours and there will be no complimentary biscuits. The cost-cutting measures have been announced in the wake of a series of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests made by The Independent newspaper. They revealed that the corporation was spends £60,000 of licence payers' money on Champagne each year and at least £250,000 on Christmas parties.

BBC bans Champagne and cuts back on lavish parties (Daily Telegraph, 15 October 2008)