‘Tories put cost on BBC' Kuenssberg shifts blame as Dowden grilled over TV license fee

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    BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg hit out at the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden as she said it was the Conservative Government’s decision to put the cost of the licence fee on the organisation. Her grilling comes just hours after the BBC announced it is scrapping free TV licences for the over 75s which Boris Johnson has said is the “wrong decision”. The free TV licence for over-75s will be means-tested from August 1.

    Ms Kuenssberg asked: “As Culture Secretary, how do you respond to the BBC’s decision to scrap the free licence fee for most over 75s given that it was the Conservative Government’s decision to put this cost on to the organisation in the first place?”

    Mr Dowden replied: “I very much regret the decision that the BBC has taken.

    “We gave the settlement to the BBC back in 2015, they said that it was a good settlement.

    “I regret that they couldn’t find efficiency savings to avoid having to impose the licence on the over-75s on the way that they have set out.”

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