Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion and Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has reiterated his calls for assurance from the government over continued funding for S4C during the St David’s Day debate that took place in Parliament this week.
In the 2015 budget, the UK Government announced that the funding that S4C receives directly through a grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) would be cut from £6.7 million to £5 million by 2020. This sparked outrage, and the former DCMS Secretary agreed to freeze this cut in 2016 pending an independent review into the future funding for S4C.
This review has yet to take place, and the Government have refused to say whether they will continue with this freeze for 2017, pending the outcome of the review.
Mark said: “As the world’s only Welsh-language TV channel, S4C is important to our country, our culture and our language. It provides high quality programming, and it is important that the review into its future funding takes place as soon as possible.
“I welcome the review, and the commitment from the previous DCMS Secretary to freeze the funding cut pending that review. However, since the review has yet to take place, Parliamentarians from all parties have called for reassurance that this freeze would continue into 2017.
“Despite numerous debates and questions to Ministers, the Government has continued to refuse to give that assurance. I have raised it again today, and once again received no answer.
“It is vital for S4C, for the Welsh creative industries, and the Welsh language and culture, that this freeze continues until the outcome of the review is known.”