Appeal to the BBC Trust on reports about tax changes for landlordsMake Text Bigger
In reply to our complaint escalation, Click Here, the BBC has sent this reply:
“Thank you for taking the time to contact us and we appreciate that you felt strongly enough to write to us again. We have noted your points and are sorry to learn you were not satisfied with our earlier response.
We are sorry to tell you that we have nothing to add to our previous reply. We do not believe your complaint has raised a significant issue of general importance that might justify further investigation. We will not therefore correspond further in response to additional points, or further comments or questions, made about this issue or our responses to it.
We realise you will be disappointed to hear this but hope this explains why we are not able to take your complaint further. If you remain dissatisfied about our decision you can appeal to the BBC Trust, the body which represents licence fee payers. The Trust has asked that we should explain to complainants that the BBC’s Royal Charter draws a clear distinction between the role of the Trust – which determines the overall scope of the BBC’s services and sets its standards – and that of the BBC Executive – which runs the Corporation and decides what to broadcast and publish.
The Trust does not investigate every appeal submitted to it. It will normally hear appeals about the Executive’s decisions only if a complainant can show that they involved a potential breach of the BBC’s published standards, or that an operational decision has raised significant issues of general importance. The Trust is the final arbiter of which appeals it should consider. For the full information about the BBC Trust’s appeals procedures please visit www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/governance/complaints_framework/.
If you wish to submit an appeal you must write within 20 working days of receiving this reply, explaining why you wish to appeal. You can contact the BBC Trust at 180 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QZ, or by emailing email@example.com. Please would you include for them the relevant case reference which you may have been given.
Thank you again for contacting us.
NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.”
They have nothing to add to their previous reply. They have not even acknowledged the points put to them in the escalation of complaint, let alone answered them.
They said the next step is an appeal to the BBC Trust, which will only “hear” appeals if a complainant can show that they involved a potential breach of the BBC’s published standards. These can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines
The following appeal, making clear the actual breaches of the BBC’s editorial standards, has been sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for submitting an appeal is next Monday. Anyone who escalated the complaint and got the same arrogant reply is very welcome to copy and send the appeal, with modifications to reflect your original complaint and escalation, including your own Case Numbers, and whether you are sending attachments. The more appeals the better.
“Appeal re Case CAS-XXXX & CAS-XXXX
Dear Sir or Madam
On 1 March I complained about a piece broadcast on the BBC News channel on Sunday, 28 February, concerning the tax changes for landlords: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35681874 It was shown at 07.28 and at 14.16, and presumably throughout the day.
It propagated misinformation about the tax change, was biased against BTL landlords, and promoted a commercial alternative. There was not enough space on the complaints website so I referred to my detailed complaints that I had published at: http://www.property118.com/complaint-to-the-bbc-on-reports-concerning-tax-changes-for-landlords/85050/comment-page-6/#comments. A copy of the detailed complaint is attached.
On 6 April I received a detailed reply. The first and last paragraphs apologised for the delay in replying.
The four paragraphs in between were all incorrect. I therefore escalated the complaint immediately. There was not enough space on the complaints webpage so I summarised as follows:
“The statements in the reply are not true. The BBC has not carried a wide range of reports on the tax change. The programme did not “fully and fairly explain” this iniquitous change in taxation. The BBC did allow itself to be used to promote a commercial enterprise.
The reply does not answer the question in the original complaint: Why was someone with a vested interest in Property Partner selected as the only landlord to be interviewed about the tax and stamp duty changes? This denied any committed private landlord the opportunity of exposing the multifarious flaws of section/clause 24.
The reply fails to address the first complaint: about describing the deduction of a cost, which every enterprise in the country applies under GAAP, as a “generous tax allowance”. This is pure Treasury misinformation.
It also fails to address the third, fourth and fifth complaints: about Joe Lynam uttering anti-landlord propaganda, a complete untruth, and Treasury propaganda, respectively.
There is not enough space here for a full response, for the detail please see http://www.property118.com/escalation-of-complaint-to-the-bbc-on-reports-about-tax-changes-for-landlords/86035/”
A copy of the detailed escalation of complaint is attached.
I received an email reply on 6 May saying they “had nothing to add to their previous reply” and that I could appeal to the BBC Trust, which is the purpose of this email.
Overall, the Treasury will have been very pleased with your broadcast. It completely excluded any criticism of section/clause 24 or the 3% increase in stamp duty, which was what it was supposed to be about, according to the introduction.
I note that the broadcast was made a few weeks after the government allowed the BBC to try to persuade people who are over 75 to give up their right to a free TV licence.
As can be seen from the foregoing, and from the detailed complaint and detailed escalation of it, the broadcast, and Joe Lynam’s extra piece in the video used on Property Partner’s website, breached the following of the BBC’S Editorial Values:
“Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest.” When I see Joe Lynam on TV now, I do not trust anything he says.
1.2.2 Truth and Accuracy
“We seek to establish the truth of what has happened and are committed to achieving due accuracy in all our output.” The broadcast was pure propaganda from the Treasury and from the anti-landlord brigade.
“Impartiality lies at the core of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences. We will apply due impartiality to all our subject matter and will reflect a breadth and diversity of opinion across our output as a whole, over an appropriate period, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented.” No-one criticised the levy on mortgage interest, although it is only supported by people who are economically illiterate. Yet the Treasury were given the right to reply as if criticism had been made.
1.2.4 Editorial Integrity and Independence
“The BBC is independent of outside interests and arrangements that could undermine our editorial integrity. Our audiences should be confident that our decisions are not influenced by outside interests, political or commercial pressures, or any personal interests.” It was Treasury propaganda on behalf of the Conservatives. It also formed part of that week’s publicity campaign by Property Partner, and was used on the latter’s website to promote itself.
1.2.6 Serving the Public Interest
“We will be rigorous in establishing the truth of the story and well informed when explaining it. We will ask searching questions of those who hold public office and others who are accountable, and provide a comprehensive forum for public debate.” No-one in public office was questioned. There was no debate.
“Our output will be based on fairness, openness, honesty and straight dealing. Contributors and audiences will be treated with respect.” It was not fair, it was completely one-sided.
It was not honest to use Jaye Cook as the only landlord as he was far from representative of the people who will suffer. He had invested £200,000 in Property Partner which is in direct competition with individual landlords for properties and tenants,
It was not honest to describe as a “generous tax break” a deduction which is made by all individuals and companies in every type of business under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
It was not straight dealing even to mention Property Partner’s non-story about what might happen if the Bank Rate went up by 2.5%, let alone feature their name in banners underneath it.
“We are accountable to our audiences and will deal fairly and openly with them. Their continuing trust in the BBC is a crucial part of our relationship with them. We will be open in acknowledging mistakes when they are made and encourage a culture of willingness to learn from them.” The replies I have had to date are the complete opposite of this editorial standard. The first reply was entirely wrong apart from the apologies for lateness. The second reply did not even acknowledge the questions in my escalation, let alone answer them. My trust in the BBC is diminished.”
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