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Digital Switchover Help Scheme

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what his Department's estimate is of the level of under-spend over the whole period of the Digital Switchover Help Scheme, as referred to in the Digital Britain report; and how this estimate has been arrived at. (283164)

The National Audit Office estimated an underspend of around £250 million in 2008 based on the take-up rate of the Help Scheme during the switchover at Whitehaven and Copeland. We have since had continuing discussions with the BBC Help Scheme about take up rates in subsequent switchovers and other cost drivers, and these confirm that this is a robust estimate of the eventual underspend. After switchover in the Granada TV region is completed at the end of 2009, when a significant proportion and representative sample of households will have switched over, we will conduct a further stock-take of the position.