As I have said, it is a matter for the BBC to make this decision. It was right and proper that it properly consulted the public across a number of months—this was a substantial consultation, and I understand that there were a number of participants and a wide range of options were discussed.
This was a fair deal, and was part of a very fair deal for the BBC. Again, Opposition Members have not recalled that the director-general of the BBC said at the time that the settlement represented
“a strong deal for the BBC” that provided “financial stability”. Parliament agreed—transferring responsibility for the concession was debated extensively during the passage through the House of the Digital Economy Act 2017. The House will therefore recognise that the Government have been clear about their expectations on this matter.
Again, I want to make it clear that the House agreed in 2017 that it would be for the BBC to decide on the future of this important concession, and it is right that we await the BBC’s decision next month. I very much look forward to seeing how the BBC will continue to support older people across the UK by providing them with companionship and a connection to the outside world.