The SNP promise to retain BBC licence fee!

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon launches her party's manifesto.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon launches her party’s manifesto.

The Scottish National Party’s newly launched general election manifesto includes promises to retain the BBC’s licence fee, increase investment through BBC Scotland and devolve responsibility for broadcasting.

The manifesto makes little direct mention of culture, which is a devolved matter, even though the party claims elsewhere that it has put culture “at the heart of our plans to develop Scotland’s overall prosperity”.

Regarding the BBC, the manifesto says: “We believe that the licence fee should be retained with any replacement system, which should be based primarily on the ability to pay, in place by the end of the next BBC Charter period.

“BBC Scotland should receive a fairer share of BBC income, reflecting more accurately the licence fee revenue raised here in Scotland. This would provide a boost of over £100 million, which we believe will provide important new opportunities for production companies and the creative sector in Scotland.”

The manifesto does contain policies on matters which have a bearing on the theatre community. These include a promise to support an increase in the minimum wage to £8.70 by 2020, together with a phased increase in the Employment Allowance from £2,000 per business per year to £6,000 per business per year over the same time.