United Kingdom Set To Freeze BBC Funding For 2 Years
London: Britain on Monday said it is set to freeze funding for the BBC for two years and commence a debate on if a universal licence fee should continue in the modern television age. The move drew opposition criticism of “cultural vandalism”.
According to Britain’s Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, the corporation, which is at the heart of the country’s cultural life, must become a simpler, leaner organisation during a time when the country was facing rising energy and tax bills.
Dorries confirmed that the tax on all television-owning households that finances the broadcaster would be frozen at 159 pounds ($217) a year until 2024 before it can rise in line with inflation for the next four years, reported news agency Reuters.
According to Dorries, the new licence spending settlement would give the BBC around 3.7 billion pounds which was contradicted by analysts. Experts said a below-inflation budget is bound to force the corporation to cut services.
The BBC, it may be recalled, has clashed with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government in recent years. The ministers have often accused the corporation of failing to give impartial news.
Opposition Labour spokeswoman for culture, Lucy Powell, told the parliament that the freeze on funding was an attack on one of the biggest institutions in British public life, and subsequently accused Dorries of “cultural vandalism”.