22/10/2010 Comprehensive Spending Review | Funding the BBC World Service

This week on Politics UK with Edward Stourton:

The Chancellor of the Exchequer says he's taking Britain back from the brink of bankruptcy, but will the medicine cure the patient or cause worse problems? Welfare bears the brunt, and the hope is getting people back to work, but with jobs cuts elsewhere is that realistic? Labour says cutting back the State is driven by ideology not necessity, but is that true? And bringing the World Service home, how will that affect its reputation and the listeners?

The defence budget survived the spending review in comparatively good shape - it is to be cut by 7.5%. Most of the job cuts will fall on civilians at the Ministry of Defence, however the army will lose 7000 soldiers. We asked Paddy Ashdown whether there are things the armed forces will no longer be able to do.

The last Conservative Chancellor who had to announce anything like the cuts in spending proposed by George Osborne was Geoffrey Howe. We asked the now Lord Howe to share his thoughts on the current Chancellor's spending plans.

As the largest cuts are going to be in welfare spending - 7 billion on top of the previously announced 11 billion - we brought into the studio the former Conservative Social Services Secretary, Peter Lilley and Stephen Timms, the Shadow Financial Secretary, to discuss whether these cuts were fair.

From the middle of this decade, the World Service of the BBC will no longer be funded by the Foreign Office. The money will instead come from the television licence fee which pays for the BBC's domestic broadcasting. We asked a former head of the World Service, John Tusa to explain the implication of this change.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Sat 23 Oct 2010 03:32 GMT

BBC World Service Archive

BBC World Service Archive

This programme was restored as part of the World Service archive project