Skip to main content

Digital Switchover

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of households that will qualify for assistance in switching over to digital television in each parliamentary constituency in Scotland; what steps she is taking to ensure that those households which qualify for assistance will receive it; and if she will make a statement. (105495)

Details for each parliamentary constituency in Scotland are in the following table.

The Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Bill was introduced on the 16 November. The Bill would enable the scheme to receive social security information in order to target those eligible for assistance and so help increase take-up amongst those eligible. There will also be extensive communications to raise awareness of the assistance available from the help scheme.

We are working closely with the Digital Switchover Consumer Experts Group to explore how best to communicate with eligible groups.

Age Concern, Help the Aged, the National Consumer Council, RNIB and RNID attend these meetings.

Constituency

Households (defined as eligible benefit units)

Aberdeen North

12,000

Aberdeen South

9,000

Airdrie and Shotts

11,000

Angus

11,000

Argyll and Bute

11,000

Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock

13,000

Banff and Buchan

11,000

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

11,000

Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

8,000

Central Ayrshire

11,000

Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill

12,000

Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East

10,000

Dumfries and Galloway

12,000

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

11,000

Dundee East

11,000

Dundee West

12,000

Dunfermline and West Fife

10,000

East Dunbartonshire

9,000

East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow

12,000

East Lothian

12,000

East Renfrewshire

10,000

Edinburgh East

10,000

Edinburgh North and Leith

9,000

Edinburgh South

10,000

Edinburgh South West

10,000

Edinburgh West

10,000

Falkirk

13,000

Glasgow Central

10,000

Glasgow East

16,000

Glasgow North

9,000

Glasgow North East

14,000

Glasgow North West

13,000

Glasgow South

12,000

Glasgow South West

13,000

Glenrothes

12,000

Gordon

9,000

Inverclyde

12,000

Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey

11,000

Kilmarnock and Loudoun

13,000

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

13,000

Lanark and Hamilton East

13,000

Linlithgow and East Falkirk

13,000

Livingston

10,000

Midlothian

10,000

Moray

10,000

Motherwell and Wishaw

13,000

Na h-Eileanan an lar

4,000

North Ayrshire and Arran

13,000

North East Fife

9,000

Ochil and South Perthshire

11,000

Orkney and Shetland

4,000

Paisley and Renfrewshire North

12,000

Paisley and Renfrewshire South

12,000

Perth and North Perthshire

12,000

Ross, Skye and Lochaber

7,000

Rutherglen and Hamilton West

15,000

Stirling

11,000

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

8,000

West Dunbartonshire

14,000

Notes:

1. Rounded to the nearest thousand.

2. Eligibility for help from the digital switchover help scheme will be by benefit unit rather than the whole household definition used by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Office to forecast future household growth.

3. The definition of a benefit unit is a couple and any dependent children. It excludes adults deemed to be non-dependents who, if eligible, will be able to claim assistance from the help scheme in their own right.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what the expected cost to the public purse is of state support to people on benefits for digital switchover; (107905)

(2) what the expected cost is to the public purse of supporting the transfer to digital television; and if she will make a statement.

In addition to meeting its costs for the upgrade of the transmission network for digital switchover, the BBC will meet Digital UK’s communication costs and a share of Digital UK’s operational costs. The cost to the BBC to support Digital UK amounts to £228 million for the period of digital switchover. In addition, the BBC will also fund the digital switchover help scheme for people 75 or over or who have a significant disability. Our best estimate at this stage is that the cost of the scheme will be at or around £600 million over the period of switchover.

There are no central estimates of the overall cost to Government of digital switchover. However, other than the costs of updating television equipment within the Government sector, the only costs will be those incurred for research, communications and other programme support costs for the Digital Switchover Programme.