Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tax or not

Director Peter Kosminsky, who brought us Wolf Hall By Candelight, says he had “a row” with the Culture Secretary this week. He went to see John Whittingdale, and argued over whether or not the licence fee was a tax, on which Mr Whittingdale remained obdurate.

Tax or not, the Office of Budget Responsibility deems the licence fee to be part of the public spending it's charged with monitoring. This was formally set up by George Osborne in 2010, and since then, he's been keen to cut the licence fee as well as lumping costs previously paid by Government departments into the BBC's lap. It's also why the BBC keeps having to do lease deals for new buildings - its borrowing counts as public sector borrowing, and is capped at £200m.

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