Over the next month, my Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee will be looking into the future of the BBC.
This is an issue that affects nearly all of us as, in an average week, 96% of us access the BBC, and more than that pay the license fee!
The challenge the BBC faces is to continue to provide world-class, quality broadcasting, whilst accepting they have less money to spend because of freezes to the licence fee.
Clearly, the BBC is not perfect and has made mistakes. I criticised the payout that the former Director General got when he resigned. Local BBC Radio managers chose to cut local programming, including LGBT Citizen Manchester, Jewish Citizen Manchester and Irish Citizen Manchester, and replace it with cross network programming in the evenings. This, I believe, was a mistake, and one I opposed
However, I support the principle of the BBC. I strongly believe that the BBC should not be cut further after the current cost cutting exercise ends in 2017. I am instead proposing that we should commit to inflation-linked rises in the television license fee, for the lifetime of the next parliament.
Whilst I realise that no-one likes to see their bills go up, the current license fee costs 40p-a-day, whereas a subscription-only service like Sky costs around 4 times more.
What do you think?
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