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Deputy Prime Minister questions TV licence plan

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 21, 2014

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LIBERAL Democrat leader Nick Clegg has hinted his party will not support a campaign started by North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence.

Mr Bridgen has received widespread cross-party support for his plan, which could lead to a vote in the House of Commons.

Though the Deputy Prime Minister said his party would ‘look at’ the plan, he also said he sympathised with the BBC’s concerns should the changes come into force.

Mr Clegg said: “You know the arguments. People are saying ‘why is this clogging up the courts?’.

“The counter-argument is if you change it, if you relax the penalty, you decriminalise it, then the BBC will lose a lot of money.

“If the BBC loses a lot of money local radio stations go off-air and it is bad for the BBC.

“I am certainly not decided in my own mind about whether this change is merited. I think even a small loss of revenue for the BBC could jeopardise things that a lot of people depend on.”

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