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‘Cut’ to BBC funding will have ‘serious consequences’ for Welsh broadcasting

17 Jan 2022 3 minute read
Plaid Cymru MP Ben Lake: UK Parliament

The “real-terms cut” to the BBC’s funding will have “serious consequences” for Welsh broadcasting, a Plaid Cymru MP has warned.

Ben Lake, his party’s spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has responded to the Culture Secretary’s announcement on funding for the BBC and S4C, saying that it “casts doubt” on their “future”

Nadine Dorries confirmed that the BBC’s licence fee will be frozen for two years, which Plaid Cymru say represents a severe real-terms cut in the corporation’s funding.

She also announced an extra £7.5m from 2022 for S4C’s digital services, but Plaid Cymru argue that it “cannot offset” cuts elsewhere.

Ben Lake said in the House of Commons that “the corporation provides around £20m of S4C programming annually” as well as radio and digital output, meaning that the BBC’s contribution to Welsh language public broadcasting will diminish.

He said that Ms Dorries “completely failed to address” his point in the Commons.

The Ceredigion MP added that the only way to secure a “healthy media landscape” in Wales is to “devolve broadcasting to the Senedd as soon as possible.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, Ben Lake MP said: “It was pleasing to hear the Secretary of State claim that she recognises the importance of Welsh language broadcasting, but she then proceeded to announce a real-terms cut to the BBC’s settlement, a settlement of course that provides around £20m of S4C programming annually, in addition to Welsh language services on Radio Cymru, Radio Cymru 2 and BBC Cymru Fyw.

“Could the Secretary of State therefore explain how a real-terms cut to the BBC’s settlement will not see a reduction in its important contribution to Welsh language services?”

In her response, Nadine Dorries repeated that S4C will see a funding increase.

‘Casts doubt’ 

Speaking after the session, Mr Lake added: “Today’s announcement casts doubt on the future vitality of Welsh public broadcasting. Make no mistake – the real-terms cut to the BBC settlement will have serious consequences for Welsh language public broadcasting, as well as English-language Welsh news and programming.

“The Secretary of State completely failed to address this point in the Commons today. The real-terms cut to the BBC’s overall settlement will inevitably have repercussions on the programming it provides S4C, and hinders its ability to fund important services such as Radio Cymru. An increase in funding for S4C’s digital output cannot offset that cut.

“It is clearer than ever that if we want a healthy media landscape in Wales, the only way forward is to devolve broadcasting to the Senedd as soon as possible.”

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2 years ago

The Maxwell’s of the world and the wealthy puppet master’s of the government have been trying for years to get rid of the BBC. They will sleep soundly in their beds in the knowledge that programs like Panorama will never be able to expose them again. Although the prospect of my other half not being able to watch Deadenders, I mean EastEnders is strangely satisfying. LP

2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

No more Eastenders, no more Strictly, Masterchef, Corrie, Emmerdale, quiz shows like The Wall, that Michael Macintyre travesty… it’s beginning to Sound quite tasty.

Reginald Bowler
Reginald Bowler
2 years ago

I agree with funding S4C etc from the Senedd, although they (S4C, etc) should accept the need to be impartial too. However, I very much agree with the bbc licence fee being abolished. I don’t really care about whether or not they are biassed against anything, I object to them getting all the licence fee bar a small fraction, but licence payers having to fund them to watch other channels that are free and get no licence payment. That’s wrong, whether the funding’s from a licence fee, levy on council tax or internet connections or whatever. To use a comparison,… Read more »

Lyn Thomas
Lyn Thomas
2 years ago

I don’t watch certain programs on ITV but every time I buy a product advertised on the channel I pay for ITV….. Keep the license fee

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