Fione Hyslop calls planned BBC staff cuts ‘unacceptable’
BBC staff cuts are unacceptable, especially in the run-up to the landmark referendum on independence, according to the Culture Secretary.
Fiona Hyslop told MSPs that politicians are right to be concerned about plans to cut 35 jobs, 17 of which are in news and current affairs.
The corporation wants to reduce its budget by 16% by 2016/17, equal to about £16.1 million.
Ms Hyslop said she is concerned about the impact of cuts coming two years before the referendum.
She said: “I think the whole Parliament should, in terms of democratic representation in broadcast, be concerned at the level of these cuts and exactly where they are finding their place.
“In terms of the most momentous decision in over 300 years, I think it is unacceptable to diminish BBC Scotland’s news and current affairs capability in this way.”
She was responding to Edinburgh Southern SNP MSP Jim Eadie, who said there is a “mood of despondency” among staff and trade unions.
He said: “To undermine the work of dedicated staff and to short-change licence fee payers in Scotland at a time when the national debate needs to be rigorous and extensive, it is not only damaging for the BBC’s reputation as a world-class public service broadcaster, but is in fact nothing short of a national disgrace.”
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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