Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood has said: “S4C is far more than just a channel; it is a catalyst for creativity with significant cultural and economic benefits. In light of further cuts, S4C faces a fight for survival.
“It is high time for the Assembly to take greater responsibility for broadcasting to secure and prioritise not just S4C, but public broadcasting in general.”
(Incidentally, all the other political parties at the Senate are against cuts to S4C funding. Welsh politicians are experts at bending their knees to minority Welsh language tyranny and never mind what the majority English speakers think.)
The BBC licence fee provides £74m per annum to S4C. Since 1982, it has received £2.2bn of taxpayers’ money (its own figure). It also claims that for every £1 of grant aid, £2.09 is brought in to the Welsh economy. To back this up, it refers to independent research carried out by Arad in 2013, an organisation based in Cardiff no less.
Hefin Thomas of Arad, was duly contacted by LFW and confirmed that much of its business is with the Welsh public sector and that 7 of its 9 staff are Welsh speakers.One cannot help but question this £2.09 of net ‘value added’ it’s come up with?
Firstly, the Welsh creative/arts sector is already subsidised up to the hilt; the cuts to the Arts Council of Wales for instance, are negligible when compared to the rest of the UK’s Arts Councils – not to mention Pinewood’s recent £30m taxpayer hand out.
Secondly, few people watch S4C full stop. It attracts less than 1% of viewers if that, and for some of its programmes it’s zero. BBC Wales could certainly use a haircut too: Welsh language Radio Cymru gets 15 times more subsidy than Radio Cornwall (at the last count £16.2m to £1.2m) and yet they have the same audience figures!
And can you imagine what would happen if Plaid Cymru got its hands on public broadcasting in Wales, let alone Welsh Labour? You could forget Coronation Street and EastEnders, it would be Pobol y Cym or nowt!
Cuts to public services, health, adult education what the hell, let’s keep lobbing billions at the Welsh language and what does it matter that out of the paltry 18% who speak it, less than 4% can actually read and write it.
LFW says: Cut S4C’s funding or get rid of it altogether. It’s a nonsensical luxury the UK economy can ill afford.