This is the first of three summaries set as homework by Adam. I’m going to do my best.
First up is this article, dated 27/02/2008.
MPs warn that there could be £250 million left over from the digital switchover. The money (£603 million) is funded by the BBC using the licence fee to help over 75 year olds and people on disability allowance with the switchover. However, they have to play a £40 fee unless they recieve pension credit or income support, which may explain why so many people are declining the offers of help.
According to a report by the National Audit Office, almost a third of the population don’t realise that they will need digital equipment to watch TV in 2012. Nearly half the population are still buying analogue TVs, and nearly 60% don’t realise that they won’t be able to record one channel on a video or DVD recorder whilst watching another. Ethnic minorities and non-English speakers have particularly low awareness of the switchover. Despite all this the report’s tone was mainly positive.
Of course, it was unlikely to have been positive enough to be any comfort to the hundreds of BBC employees that got sacked following the government’s reduction of the licence fee.
A spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said that the decision of what to do with the remaining money will be made towards the end of the switchover, but Lib Dem Culture, Media and Sport spokesman Don Foster wants them to “either invest the leftover money back into public sector broadcasting or return it to the licence fee payer”. Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt worried about all that still needed doing, and basically demanded that the government get their act together.
Apart from that, everything’s going as planned. The digital switchover will be ready in 2012.