Hasty switch could hit poor, warns British MP
Shadow culture minister Helen Goodman has warned the government against a hasty switch to digital radio, saying the leap from analogue to digital would hit the poorest households hardest. She said the government was putting the interests of big business ahead of ordinary listeners, who she said should not be expected to pay for new digital sets at a time when household budgets were already stretched.
Given the cost of living crisis this is not the time to force the majority of people in this country to spend £50 or more on buying a new digital radio, said Goodman. Pressing ahead with this when everybody's budgets are stretched, this is just another example of ministers in government listening to companies and the people who are running technology firms, and not being in touch with ordinary people.
The socio-economics of this show that people on low incomes are less likely to be using digital radio than people on higher incomes, so the cost will fall disproportionately on the people with lower incomes.
When Labour was still in government in 2009 it indicated a two-year radio switchover plan would not kick in until at least 50% of listening was via digital platforms. Goodman suggested this should be raised to at least 75% of all listening before any switchover target was set, with 50% of listening via DAB.