BBC boss Tim Davie is to receive a "grotesque" £75,000 pay rise after pensioners lost free TV licenses last year.

The director-general of the BBC will see his annual salary rise from £450,000 to £525,000, an increase of 16.6%.

Davie has been in the role for just over a year and the pay rise comes as the corporation seeks to make more than £1bn in overall cuts by March 2022.

People over the age of 75 lost the right to free TV licences last year with only those who receive pension credit not having to pay the annual £159 bill.

The decision was initially made to end the free licences for pensioners by the UK Government, which passed the cost along to the BBC with the corporation saying it could no longer afford to pick up the bill.

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The Alba Party said the news is a "slap in the face" for Scottish pensioners, with the party's Westminster leader Neale Hanvey (below) describing the pay rise as "grotesque".

He said: "This is yet another slap in the face to pensioners across Scotland. They’ve had their free TV licence removed because the BBC said it could no longer afford to fund it on the back of Tory cuts.

"Yet now we see Scotland’s over-75s vital licence fee support being used to give a grotesque £75k boost to a director-general with already extraordinary levels of pay. A director-general who clearly has scant regard for Scotland, or the hardship so many pensioners face."

The National: Neale Hanvey MP

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The BBC's annual report showed that just 51% of the money raised in Scotland is being spent in Scotland this year. This is compared to 71% in Northern Ireland and 64% in Wales. The figure for Scotland in 2020 was 69%.

The percentages are based on figures in the BBC’s latest annual report for estimated annual income in 2021 and estimated network and local spending. The figures include direct and indirect spend relating to programmes produced in each nation.

During 2021, the estimated income for the BBC raised by licence fees in Scotland is £309 million. The total network spend is given as £50m in 2021 with total local spend stated as £108m, meaning the total output spend comes to £158m or 51% of the income. Total spending was £202m in 2020.

The corporation pledged greater spending north of the Border with a new BBC Scotland channel launched in 2019 designed to help improve the service.

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Hanvey said: “The BBC in Scotland does not serve the broadcasting needs of the people of Scotland. In Scotland, we subsidise the BBC to the tune of over £200m when you contrast Scotland’s contribution against BBC spend on broadcasting here. Even when you add in network content we only get 51% back from what Scottish licence fee holders pay in.

"It’s little wonder that the bosses at the BBC appear so hostile to Scotland becoming a normal independent country. Whatever happened to the fabled BBC impartiality? It’s non-existent. This underscores yet again why the totality of broadcasting must be devolved to an independent Scottish Broadcasting Corporation without further delay.”

A BBC spokesman said Davie’s salary was “well below the market rate for this type of role”, adding that Carolyn McCall at ITV is paid £833,000, and Alex Mahon at Channel 4 earns £991,000.