Digital Economy Bill [ Lords]

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 5:26 pm on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Don Foster Don Foster Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 5:26 pm, 6th April 2010

There is a slight mockery in respect of the Conservative party's position on BBC funding. The House will recall that, not so long ago, the Conservatives proposed that the annual licence fee uplift be frozen, but a few months later they said they did not want to interfere in the long-term setting of the licence fee settlement. They then told us that they were not going to touch the underspend on the targeted assistance scheme, but now they are doing so. Finally, they said that no money would be needed to support the roll-out of broadband, but suddenly, having opposed the Government's use of top-slicing a licence for one project-in this case, independently funded news consortiums-they will use a top-slicing of the BBC licence fee to pay for the broadband roll-out. However, Mr. Vaizey is desperate to speak, so I shall happily give way to him.

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