“The BBC is a globally acknowledged brand, the rest of the world looks on at us with envy. Why on earth would you want to trash it?” said Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner in response to the Government’s proposal to scrap the license fee in 2027. He said that the “license fee model has stood the test of time, because that’s the way you get proper funding but also independence from government”.
Speaking to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire this morning [Monday 17th January] Mr Zeichner described the announcement as a “desperate play by a Government on the ropes”. He said the Government was “fighting the wrong battles” and focusing on their “internal obsessions”. While he recognised the impact of the cost of the license fee on the poorest, including pensioners, Mr Zeichner said “Labour introduced free TV licenses for pensioners. It is this Government with its vendetta against the BBC that put the BBC in an impossible situation at the last renegotiation. Of course a country like this can afford it, the question is who pays. I’m happy to have a discussion about that, and we want to protect the poorest people, but what we do not want to do is trash one of our greatest national assets. The BBC is incredibly popular and Labour will support it 100% when we come back into Government”.