Plaid Cymru MP presses Welsh Secretary for fair S4C funding following 36% cut
A Plaid Cymru MP has pressed the Welsh Secretary for fair funding for S4C following a 36% real terms cut since 2010.
Liz Saville Roberts, who leads the party in Westminster, raised “concerns” with Simon Hart that the Welsh language broadcaster will only receive a “flat cash settlement in the next licence fee round”.
She called for a “modest £10 million per annum of additional investment” to be pumped into the channel for it to remain “competitive” and for it to be treated with “equivalence” to the BBC.
Hart replied that a “decision has yet to be made” but added that the UK Government recognises the “importance of this” and wants to “get to a speedy and correct conclusion”.
Liz Saville Roberts said: “In another area, Welsh-language TV channel S4C has seen a 36% real-terms cut since 2010, and there are now concerns that it will receive a flat cash settlement in the next licence fee round.
“S4C requires only a modest £10 million per annum of additional investment and the retention of CPI-linked annual increases in licence fee funding to remain competitive with the already advantaged BBC and, essentially, to reach audiences on new digital platforms.
“Will the Secretary of State work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to ensure additional investment for S4C so that the channel is treated with equivalence to the BBC and, equally or more important, it is viable into the future?”
Simon Hart said: “I am grateful to the right hon. Lady for raising the cultural and linguistic significance of S4C, not least because it is headquartered in my constituency.
“I have a very warm relationship with all the individuals who have been making their case very powerfully to Members across the House in the last few months.
“I can confirm to her that the Wales Office has of course made some very strong submissions to DCMS.
“The decision has yet to be made, but I urge her and other colleagues to continue to do that. We recognise the importance of this and we want very much to get to a speedy and correct conclusion.”