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BBC spends £277m on redundancy payments in seven years

Staff received payouts as high as £949,000 for both compulsory and voluntary redundancies.

New figures show that the BBC spent £276,833,465 in redundancy payments in the past seven years.

A Freedom of Information request by the Guardian reveals that nearly 6,000 BBC staff took an average of £46,200 between March 2005 and February 2012, with the highest-paid member of staff, who the BBC refused to name, receiving £949,000. The same amount was paid to the former deputy director general Mark Byford, who left in June last year.

£66.4m was paid out between March 2011 and February 2012 alone. The redundancies were both compulsory and voluntary. 

A statement from the BBC said: "Since 2005, the BBC has made significant reductions in its headcount as part of overall efficiency savings. While this has necessitated some one-off redundancy costs, this is outweighed by the cumulative savings achieved over this period of £2.7bn."

Delivering Quality First, the BBC's cost-cutting initiative, will lead to several thousand more redundancies.