Warnings issued on future of BBC across the devolved nations

The future of the BBC in the devolved nations could be under threat


“The future of broadcasting in Wales is now in serious jeopardy.”

That was the warning for the Welsh deputy minister for culture, Ken Skates, yesterday as culture ministers from across the devolved nations met to discuss the future of the BBC as the process for charter renewal begins.

Calling for sufficient funding for broadcasting in Wales, Mr Skates commented following the meeting:

“Wales and the other devolved nations must and will have an equal voice in deliberations on the new BBC Royal Charter.

“It is vital the new agreement ensures there is sufficient funding for news and non-news programming in Welsh and English and for S4C.

“It must also fully reflect the interests of the people of Wales and the current and changing devolved settlement.

“People in Wales rely on the BBC for news coverage of public life, but beyond this both Welsh and English language programming in Wales have suffered significant budget cuts in recent years.”

Warning of the impact of any further funding cuts, Ken Skates has warned that it “would further limit BBC Wales and S4C’s ability to meet the needs of its viewers and listeners.”

“The future of broadcasting in Wales is now in serious jeopardy, and poses serious risks to both the Welsh language and our economy.

“It has been clear to me for some time that we in Wales share many of the same concerns as our neighbours in Scotland and Northern Ireland in relation to the review of the BBC’s Royal Charter.

“It is vital that we are properly consulted and I am very pleased that as governments we are working together to ensure our interests are protected and promoted in the BBC’s next Charter.”

His comments followed warnings by Rhodri Talfan Davies, the director for BBC Wales, that the BBC risks becoming “a sort of creative ‘Polyfilla’ – there to fill the gaps left by the market” if the charter review process is got wrong, with “public funding reserved solely for a narrow range of rather niche programmes”.

SNP culture secretary, Fiona Hyslop, who hosted the meeting, argued that the BBC’s latest annual report showed that the Corporation was “failing to meet the expectations of the people of Scotland”. But she warned that such failures, “must fuel positive reform, not furnish excuses for cuts”.

Meanwhile Northern Ireland’s culture minister, Caral Ni Chuilin, called for the charter renewal to become “an opportunity” for the BBC “to deliver better for the North of Ireland.”

“In moving forward there needs to be greater emphasis placed on home-grown productions and the harnessing of local talent.

“The opportunities for local companies and individuals must be maximised and there must be increased commissioning of original programming showcasing our local communities and what they have to offer.

“There is a clear belief that the shared interests of the devolved administrations must be championed vigorously during the ongoing discussions surrounding the future shape and output of the BBC.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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10 Responses to “Warnings issued on future of BBC across the devolved nations”

  1. I'm very cross about this.

    Scrap the telly tax.

  2. stevep

    Tax the wealthy…. Uphold a national cultural institution, give the BBC to everyone free!


    They don’t make any of their good shows anymore, how are they expecting anyone to pay now that they’ve scrapped TopGear and Never Mind the Buzzcocks? They don’t make any programmes that people want to watch!

  4. Sid

    What a load of bollocks.

  5. I'm very cross about this.

    We already sufficiently tax the wealthy and some would say over-tax them/me.

  6. Sam Mitchell

    It is wrong that we need to pay a TAX to watch ANY TV… whether you want to watch silly pathetic time wasting programs or not… why should we be taxed to support them as they add nothing to my life…. & since their behaviour over the Scottish Ref .. I can not TRUST their output.

  7. Selohesra

    A little parable for you:

    every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing

    The fifth would pay £1

    The sixth would pay £3

    The seventh would pay £7

    The eighth would pay £12

    The ninth would pay £18

    The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59

    So, that’s what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

    “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20″. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just £80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

    The bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

    And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).

    The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33% saving).

    The seventh now paid £5 instead of £7 (28% saving).

    The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% saving).

    The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 (22% saving).

    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

    “I only got a pound out of the £20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got £10!”

    “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a pound too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”

    “That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get £10 back, when I got only £2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

    “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

  8. Z

    well, obviously you’d say that then, and vote for the tories out of greed rather than for the common good for everyone.
    also, the tories actually tax the middle bracket the most and they tend to be the ones with the hardest jobs to do, not the rich who sit back and do nothing – so it’s not really you who should be complaining.

  9. stevep

    A little parable for you : Once upon a time a misguided and brainwashed chap wandered onto a website called Left Foot Forward. He thought it must be similar to the daily SunMail, so he started praising far-right politics and criticising left-of centre politics.
    Nice left wing people tried to help him by pointing out the obvious: That he was on the wrong site, but he said “no….this must be the Sun Mail…..Isn`t it?”.

    Sadly, owing to his brainwashed confusion, he had to be kindly and politely told that he was a TROLL, ie. one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption or argument.
    Such sad creatures wander lonely among the message boards hoping for succour but finding none, for owing to their natural lack of intelligence, they are easy prey to the left thinker.
    More to be pitied for their woeful thinking, than blamed really.
    The End.

  10. stevep

    You`re either wealthy or thick.

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