ALBA Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill is tabling written parliamentary questions to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the funding of BBC Scotland compared to other nations and regions in the UK. Previous figures published by the BBC have shown a clear discrepancy between the amount which the BBC raises from TV licence payers in Scotland and the amount which is spent by the BBC in Scotland showing that Scotland is regularly “short changed” by the BBC.
In a statement Kenny MacAskill, the MP for East Lothian said:
“With the appointment of Muriel Gray as the new ‘nation member’ for Scotland to the BBC Board now is a good time to shine a light on how much the BBC spends in Scotland compared to how much the BBC actually raises from the TV licence fee.
“We know that Scottish TV licence payers are being short changed, year after year, with millions of pounds more being raised in Scotland than is actually spent in Scotland. I am calling on the Culture and Media Secretary to ‘come clean’ about how much is spent in Scotland, how many people are employed and how many senior executives work at BBC Scotland compared with the other nations and regions of the UK.
“These answers will reveal whether BBC Scotland is receiving its fair share from the central funding pot or whether it is receiving the crumbs from the Master’s table.
“Every pound raised in TV licence fee is money that should be retained in Scotland to make Scottish drama, comedy, news, sport and documentaries. Employing camera operators, sound engineers, reporters and production staff here in Scotland helps to support our broadcasting and creative industries, and promote our home grown talent.
“However for Scotland to receive a fair deal rather than being constantly short-changed will take more than a new member of the BBC Board. It will require the BBC Scotland Advisory Board which the ‘nation member’ for Scotland chairs to be replaced by an interim BBC Scotland Board which can begin to demand the investment and jobs which Scotland pays for but are currently exported to south of the border.”