BBC to shut down its Hindi radio: Though the British Empire is already dead, it has been able to save its abstract significance through its state-run portals like BBC. But a new kind of problem has hit the existing reminisce of the Empire. They are running out of money and do not have enough to run the ‘goodwill’ all across the world.
BBC to shut down its Hindi radio
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has decided to lay off 382 employees all across the world. State owned enterprise is trying to save 28.5 million pounds in order to save its other international services from rising costs.
As a preliminary measure, BBC have begun by shutting down their World radio services in 10 languages including Hindi language. These languages are Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Bengali, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Hindi, Indonesian, Tamil, and Urdu.
Trying to tear down fears around the BBC discontinuing its services in many languages, the company said that its services will keep serving people in what they termed as ‘moments of jeopardy’. On its website, BBC specially named Afghanistan, Russia and Ukraine as places where its services will continue.
Liliane Landor, director of World Services said, “We help people in times of crisis. We will continue to bring the best journalism to audiences in English and more than 40 languages, as well as increasing the impact and influence of our journalism by making our stories go further.”
British government’s hold on BBC
BBC has been facing a fund crunch for quite some time now. Though after the proliferation of Globalisation, BBC has found lots of alternate sources of funding, but it still relies on the British government for a large part of its funding.
BBC was established by a royal charter and operates under its agreement with the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport. The institutional connection with the power bloc is the reason why it has its footprints all across the world.
The BBC is funded by annual television licence fees. On BBC’s part, the British government sets a fee to be levied from all British households, companies, and organisations. In essence, BBC is indebted to the British Monarchy, the head of state. That is why there should be no surprise when its world news service peddles only pro-Britain talking points all across the world.
Even that is now at jeopardy since earlier this year, the British government decided to not levy any fee from people for two years. The move came after Boris Kohnson, the then British PM, had called for reforms in its funding. Apparently, the financial problem for his government was plenty, which only exacerbated after the Ukraine-Russia crisis kicked in.
British economy is in tatters
The British government has just not been able to move its economy in any direction. Compared to the growth rate all across the world, British GDP has remained stagnant for about one and half decade. In 2007, its GDP was $2.73 trillion. 13 years later, it was measured at only $2.83 trillion. While the economy remained stagnant, the population kept increasing, leading to decrease in per capita GDP.
Then arrived the deadly Covid pandemic. When pandemic arrived, Britishers were already recovering from the after effects of Brexit. Due to Brexit, more than 2 lakh people who were enjoying EU-related freedom to work in the country left British shores. Hospitality and retail were the ones most hit by the labour crisis. Additionally, a large number of nationals from the EU used to drive tankers containing oil.
Businesses do not have trust on British government
The migration of EU workers further exacerbated the supply chain crisis leading to a higher cost of living. In June this year, inflation in the country was clocked at 9.4 per cent, its highest in 40 years.
In July, the economy was trying to stand on its own, but Johnson’s resignation started a political crisis in the country. For one full month before Johnson officially rescinded the office, he could focus only on two things; Ukraine crisis and political upheaval inside his party.
As a result of the lacklustre attitude of the British government, businesses started to lose faith in government. They started to demand a higher rate of interest on the bond yields from the British government.
Compared to 0.7 per cent of interest which the British treasury used to pay a year back, the government has to pay back borrowed money at 4.7 per cent. The higher interest is the payment of political risk carried by unpopular governments.
Budget exacerbated the problem
The government has not done anything to make the matter better. Apparently, through toeing the American line of the Ukraine crisis, it has only increased its gas bills, leading to more and more inflation. In that circumstance, Liz Truss pushed an unpopular budget, announcing tax cuts.
Kwasi Kwarteng, her Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the largest tax cut in 50 years. Interestingly, half of the benefits of tax cuts will go to the richest 5 per cent of Britishers. Government is expecting a trickle-down effect, but the chances of it being wishful thinking are higher as is evident in the Pound slipping to historical lows against the Dollar.
On the British budget, Paul Krugmann, 2008 Nobel Prize winner said, “The problem isn’t that the UK budget was inflationary, it’s that it was moronic. And a small open economy that seems to be run by morons gets a wider risk premium on its assets — currency down, yields up.”
Apparently, the government requires 265 million pound over the next five years to fund the shortcomings. Given the fact that it enjoys a bad reputation in the bond market, measures such as cutting funding to the BBC are being opted. BBC radio service will be closed in 10 languages including Hindi, 382 employees will be fired.
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