BBC Trust: Don't freeze the licence fee

Could Cameron's suggestion impact on Digital Switch?

BBC   pushing on

The BBC has responded to leader of the opposition David Cameron's calls for a freeze on the licence fee, insisting that the service it provides is vital to the British public.

Cameron, the Conservative leader, suggested that the current recession should see a year-long freeze on the BBC's licence fee, but the BBC Trust – the governing body of the public service broadcaster has issued a response.

"Like David Cameron, we agree that a stable BBC and one that is funded by a licence fee is critical to the future of Britain's creative industries, and to delivering world-class public service broadcasting to the British public," said the BBC Trust statement.

Live within its means

"The BBC must live within its means, but unplanned reductions in the licence fee could put services at risk which would not be in the interests of licence fee payers," it continues.

"Funding stability is important to the BBC's creative and editorial independence. It is a unique privilege which carries big responsibilities to deliver high quality programmes and services and to play a leading role in digital switchover.

"As the public face the reality of a recession, the BBC has an even greater responsibility to demonstrate to them that the 39p a day it receives from every licence fee payer is working hard and being spent to deliver something of real value to them."

Digital switchover

One of the reasons the BBC gives is the need to help fund the digital switchover, which is rolling out across the country.

"The licence fee increases are partly designed to fund the digital switchover programme, which includes help and support for the most vulnerable in society in making the transition to digital television," adds the BBC Trust

Via BBC Trust