Cut axe fall on BBC, budget slashed by 16 per cent, income frozen

The new conservatrve government in the UK has wielded its public spending-cut axe has fallen on the BBC, which will see its budget slashed by 16 per cent and its licence fee frozen for six years with the corporation taking over funding of the World Service from the Foreign Office.

The TV licence fee will be frozen at £145.50 until 2017 and a formal announcement to the effect will be made by chancellor George Osborne today.

The corporation will also have to pick up the £340-million tab for a string of services including the £230 million a year for the World Service - currently paid by the Foreign Office.

An additional saving for the taxpayer will be from the £80million budget for Welsh language service S4C.
Huge cuts are also expected across the BBC as ministers have already told the BBC bosses that the corporation's budget would remain flat over the next four year with no relief even with rising inflation.

This is the longest freeze  agreed to in the licence fee since the 1950s, following intense negotiations between Osborne and BBC bosses.

Revelations of bumper pay packets to BBC stars and bosses has fuelled growing public anger against the corporation.