Future funding of the BBC: Lords committee report

The BBC is principally funded through a licence fee paid by UK households; the amount is set by the government in a periodic ‘licence fee settlement’. In January 2022, the government announced a licence fee settlement that would apply from April 2022 until March 2028. It also stated that it was considering how the BBC should be funded after this period. In July 2022, the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee published a report examining the future of BBC funding.

Future funding of the BBC: Lords committee report

BBC World Service: Soft power and funding challenges

The BBC World Service delivers news in over 40 languages through TV, radio and digital services. It has a weekly reach of 365 million people and is principally funded by the BBC licence fee, with some grants from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. In September 2022, the BBC announced plans to “accelerate its digital offering” which, it said, would lead to around 382 job losses and more language services being digital only. It said “tough choices” were necessary to make savings.

BBC World Service: Soft power and funding challenges

Conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia

On 2 November 2022, the African Union announced a peace agreement had been reached between the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces. The truce followed nearly two years of intermittent fighting between the two, which has also drawn in troops from neighbouring Eritrea. A recent UN report concluded there were reasonable grounds to believe that extrajudicial killings, rape, sexual violence and starvation of the civilian population had been used as a method of warfare during the conflict.

Conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia
  • In Focus

    Schools Bill: Regulation of academies and trusts

    Introduced on 11 May 2022, the Schools Bill is currently awaiting its third reading. This article looks at the background to the bill and its progress in Parliament. Although the bill was initially made up of 69 clauses, on 30 June 2022 the government announced that 18 clauses dealing with the regulation of academies and trusts would be removed. The government stated that new proposals on academy trust termination and intervention powers, which made up the bulk of the 18 clauses removed, would be brought forward in the Commons. There is speculation that the government may now “abandon” the bill.

  • In Focus

    Effects of corruption in the UK

    Corruption can be defined as dishonest and illegal behaviour by people in positions of power. It threatens national security, reduces access to services, erodes public trust in institutions and impedes investment. Measures of corruption produced by organisations such as Transparency International indicate stability in the UK’s recent global corruption rank. However, anti-corruption experts have pointed to a number of recent scandals which are leading to the perception that corruption in the UK is worsening.

  • In Focus

    Musicians: Working and touring in the European Union

    Since Brexit, UK musicians and creative professionals no longer have free movement rights to travel and work across the EU. The EU and the UK have both said that they put forward proposals to prevent this outcome, but they could not come to an agreement. Several commentators have argued that the restrictions are having a negative impact. The government has said that it is committed to supporting UK creative industries and is “clarifying arrangements” with the EU and working with member states to make touring easier.

  • In Focus

    Draft environmental principles policy statement

    The Environment Act 2021 requires the government to publish an environmental principles policy statement outlining how environmental principles should be interpreted and applied by ministers when making policy. A draft of the first statement to be made under the act was laid before Parliament on 11 May 2022 and is due to be discussed by the Lords on 30 June 2022.

  • In Focus

    The Equality Act 2010: Impact on disabled people

    The Equality Act 2010 is the main piece of domestic legislation governing disabled people’s rights in the UK; it replaced several separate pieces of discrimination legislation. A 2016 House of Lords committee review contained recommendations for improvements to the 2010 Act. In September 2021, the House of Lords Liaison Committee examined whether these recommendations had been implemented. The committee’s 2021 report is due to be discussed in the House of Lords on 21 June 2022.

  • Research Briefing

    Schools Bill [HL]

    The Schools Bill would implement many of the proposals set out in the government’s recent policy papers on schools and school funding. These include measures aimed at making it easier for schools to become academies; changes to the national funding formula; and introducing a register of children being educated outside of schools.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Education

    Education measures in the 2022 Queen’s Speech are likely to be dominated by provisions outlined in the schools white paper, published in March 2022. In addition, proposals for new national standards on provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and legislation on school funding and the lifelong loan entitlement (LLE) are expected. A carry-over motion, agreed in April 2022, will also see the continuation of the passage of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill.

  • In Focus

    Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill

    On 1 April 2022, the House of Lords is due to debate the second reading of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill. The private member’s bill would raise the minimum age of marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales to 18. It would also expand the scope of legislation dealing with forced marriage to include any conduct to facilitate the marriage of someone under the age of 18.

  • In Focus

    Democracy under threat: a case for co-ordinated action?

    An ongoing decline in the global state of democracy has been identified by a number of recent reports, with restrictions introduced to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbating the issue. In December 2021, the United States held the ‘summit for democracy’ aimed at bolstering democracy. In the same month Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, called for democratic nations to form a “network of liberty” that spans the world.