Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Auntie and the Pobol Take a Hit #csr

So we had the expected curate’s egg from George Osborne yesterday. Somewhat like any given Budget, there’s little real consensus on whether it’s too much, too little, too regressive or not. Just like the Budget, it’ll be weeks or months before the full details and impact is known – just ask anyone in local government. However I will, for now, mount one of my hobby horses and give a qualified welcome to the announcement as regards the BBC.

Though I must start by asking why does the Welsh language life support machine otherwise known as S4C, have to be part funded by the BBC? I know it’s just rearranging the furniture, given that the BBC already feed some programming into the channel, and that I’m subsidising it anyway, but why should I subsidise it at all? Let the Welsh Assembly find the money for it – let Cardiff make the judgement of whether Pobol Y Cwm is really worth more to them than free prescriptions. Devolution, localism and all that. Granted, I probably still be paying for it for a time, but we all know the Barnett formula is broken and will, maybe, perhaps, at some time be fixed … please.

Even so, I am happy in a small way that the licence fee freeze and other measures do put the BBC under similar pressure to the rest of us …  and their competitors, who do not (as I will never tire of pointing out) have the comfort of a guaranteed extorted income from their customers. It still doesn’t address the fundamental anachronism of the licence fee, but we take any crumb in these austere times.

“In it together” and all that. Apparently.


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