BBC faces spending squeeze amid British cuts: report

19th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

The BBC will have to pay for the cost of the World Service and accept a funding freeze as part of widespread cuts in public sector spending due to be unveiled this week, its website reported Tuesday.

The BBC will take over the World Service, which has until now been funded by the Foreign Office, as well as a Welsh language TV channel, while at the same time accepting a six-year freeze in the licence fee that provides its funding.

The result will be a 16 percent real terms cut in its budget over the next six years, the website reported. The BBC itself refused to comment.

Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government will announce swingeing cuts in public sector spending on Wednesday as it seeks to pay off a record deficit left by the previous Labour government.

The BBC World Service broadcasts on radio, television and online in 32 different languages across the world. It is funded by the Foreign Office, unlike the rest of the corporation which is paid for by a tax on households.

The licence fee is paid by every British household with a television, and currently stands at 145.50 pounds (228.5 dollars, 166 euros) a year.

© 2010 AFP

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