Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, in what the paper says is his "most explicit statement yet" on the licence fee, tells the Telegraph he can “absolutely” see viewers paying less following next year’s negotiations between the government and the BBC.
Responding to a question over whether the fee could fall at the next settlement, he says: “Yes I could. Absolutely. I think that’s the discussion that we need to have. The BBC should not interpret the fact that we haven’t said anything about the way licence fee payers funds are used as an indication that we are happy about it. We will be having very tough discussions.”
At a time when Whitehall departments are facing cuts of up to 40 per cent, Hunt says: “The BBC will have to make tough decisions like everyone else. There are huge numbers of things that need to be changed at the BBC. They need to demonstrate the very constrained financial situation we are now in."
- The second front page story in the Telegraph today about the BBC is a report on a leaked email in which the award winning Panorama journalist John Ware described BBC 1 controller Jay Hunt as being "shallower than a paddling pool."