Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Deal or no deal ?

"Mr Osborne’s television licence wheeze is crude and compromises the BBC’s independence. If the state wants to offer perks to pensioners, it should direct and pay for them itself." Financial Times View

"This is a truly shocking announcement....This Government and the last Government have set a very dangerous precedent.”  Lord Birt

"A crime last time, an even bigger crime this time." Sir Michael Lyons

"Utter public disgrace." Unnamed senior BBC source to Steve Hewlett

"The BBC gets in more income every time a new home is built.....if the BBC ever feels short-changed from sucking on the teat of the licence fee payer, it can always try its luck in the commercial sector and move to a subscription mode." Philip Davies, MP for Shipley

"We must encourage the BBC to continue to make efficiency savings because, as I saw for myself, great swathes of middle management could be cut tomorrow and “EastEnders” would still start at half past 7." Peter Heaton-Jones, MP for North Devon, former 5Live producer.

"A massive decision has been taken prior to the charter review, in that an indiscriminate cut of £0.5 billion is being made in the BBC budget without any thought being given to the effect upon programming and news coverage." Lord Fowler

"It was wholly wrong that 2010 licence fee settlement, which permitted the licence fee revenue to be used for new purposes, was not subject to any public or parliamentary consultation. We recommend that income from the licence fee (or the broadcasting levy) be used only for the purpose of broadcasting or the production of public service content on television, radio and online. As a result, we believe that the Government must be prepared to remedy any existing spending commitments agreed in 2010 so that those not deemed appropriate for funding through the licence fee are met by other means such as general taxation." Report of the DCMS Select Commmittee (Chair J Whittingdale) on the Future of the BBC, published 10th February 2015

"What I have announced does not conflict with what is in the Select Committee report. The licence fee settlement will be subject to debate and a widespread consultation. This is not a licence fee settlement." J Whittingdale, Culture Secretary to the Commons yesterday.

"Far from being a cut, the way this financial settlement is shaped gives us, effectively, flat licence fee income across the first five years of the next Charter. If anything, I believe it will put the BBC slightly up." Lord Hall's email to BBC staff yesterday

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