Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has warned plans to abolish the TV license fee in 2027 could have damaging consequences for prosperity and job security around the UK as the BBC faces funding freezes and further cuts.
The BBC’s funding will be frozen for the next two years according to a tweet by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. In her tweet, which she gave no notification to Parliament that this policy would be adopted by the UK Government demonstrating this Government’s continued contempt for parliamentary rules, the Secretary of State alluded to the license fee being completely abolished in 2027.
Mr Elmore has stated that this endangers future funding as the BBC will have to negotiate an entirely new funding model when the final license fee funding deal expires, with potential options including a subscription service, part-privatisation or direct government funding.
The UK Government’s decision will compound the stresses faced by Britain’s greatest exports to the world. This soft power will be damaged beyond repair, setting the UK’s global power back decades.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“The UK Government likes to talk about levelling up, but removing the TV license fee could risk jobs and prosperity as local BBC services around the country face having their funding cut.
The BBC does so much valuable work across the UK, spreading out creative industries and sites around the country so as to benefit people in all the regions, not just London. Wales has received a huge amount of direct investment from the BBC and they have supported new and emerging talent from our community.
British journalism is renowned across the world, with the BBC brand at the forefront, widely considered one of the best globally. Yet the UK Government is attacking the BBC because of their challenging journalism. We cannot allow this to be the UK Government’s rationale for punishing the BBC.
Over the past two years in particular as people had to learn and work from home, BBC services like Bitesize have become even more valuable and important, and more people have used their services. This doesn’t mean there’s never any room for reform, but cutting the TV license fee and BBC funding is not the way to do this, otherwise we risk losing this treasured British institution as we know it.”