Monday, March 16 2009
In his regular press conference, David Cameron promised to freeze the BBC licence fee for one year.
He described the BBC as one of our “most important national institutions”, but said it needed to maintain public support by “doing more with less”.
And he stressed it was up to the BBC and other public bodies to "lead by example" and tighten their belts during these tough economic times.
David explained he was a “supporter” of the licence fee system, but said the Conservatives would vigorously oppose the 2% increase that is due to come into effect this April.
Jeremy Hunt, the Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, said the BBC did not need the 2% increase to stay ahead of the market, pointing out that, for the first time ever, the licence fee income this year could be £1 billion more than the entire advertising-funded TV sector put together.
He stressed, “We support the BBC. But the BBC, in turn, exists because of public support for the licence fee system. Declining to take up this year’s increase would be the best possible way to maintain that support in tough times.”
Promoted by Alan Mabbutt on behalf of the Conservative Party, both at 30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DP