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BBC — [Phil Wilson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:57 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Chris Matheson Chris Matheson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) 5:57 pm, 15th July 2019

My hon. Friend suggests that I should be. It does not give off a particularly pleasant smell to have a part of the Government giving out favours to get a policy through. It stinks, and it ought not to be allowed. Even the perception that a deal was done—because that is one of the possible perceptions—ought not to be allowed.

The BBC licence fee, as we have heard, represents so much more than simply a broadcasting service for older people in particular. I simply ask: if we do not provide the service and social isolation continues, what is the cost then of having to look after more people with more advanced dementia? What is the cost of having to provide social services elsewhere for older people whose quality of life is deteriorating? There are hidden costs involved, and we find once again that the BBC licence fee gives huge value for money in a much broader context than that of simply listening to the radio or watching television.