Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has commented on today’s planned budget cuts by BBC Scotland as part of the ‘Delivering Quality First’ scheme, which plans to reduce its spending by 16%.
The cut, which amount to £16.1m, is to be achieved by 2016/2017.
She said: “I have grave reservations about the potential impact of Delivering Quality First on the BBC in Scotland.
“As a result of the UK Government’s damaging licence fee agreement, BBC Scotland’s baseline budget is being slashed to just £86 million per year – a cut of 16 per cent - with up to 120 jobs losses and potential reductions across online, television and radio programming.
“Cuts on this scale - at such an historic time for our nation - are bitterly disappointing, with concerns raised by all parties in the Scottish Parliament. I have previously sought assurances that the quality of the BBC’s output in Scotland, particularly in relation to news and current affairs, will not suffer as a consequence of these cuts.
“Although it is encouraging that the BBC remains committed to meeting its target for television network spend in Scotland, these cuts are a blow to our media industry and creative industries sector as a whole. It is particularly disappointing that the BBC Trust sees more urgency to protect local radio in England than radio services for Scotland – both are important to their respective audiences.
“The Scottish Government is committed to protecting public service broadcasting. The BBC is Scotland’s national broadcaster and should be relied on to report fairly on Scottish, UK and international events particularly at this important time in Scotland’s journey.”