Labour Party plans digital BBC funded by taxing Netflix and Amazon tech giants

Labour Party plans digital BBC funded by taxing Netflix and Amazon tech giants

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn proposes a digital version of the BBC funded by taxing multinational tech giants

Labour’s leader has suggested the creation of a British Digital Corporation (BDC) which would rival big technology companies like Netflix and Amazon.

While speaking about the media at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Corbyn announced he would look to implement these plans if his party won the next general election.

If the idea materialises, Corbyn said it would be a “sister organisation” to the current BBC. As well as rivalling Netflix and Amazon, the BDC would “harness data for the public good”.

Corbyn said his idea was borne from the British media failing and global companies dominating the internet.

Funding would come from the existing television licence fee plus extra money collected by taxing tech leaders and internet providers.

Plans for taxing tech leaders like Facebook and Netflix to fund the BBC have already been announced.

Through this new platform, audiences would be able to commission programmes and decisions would be made online. A new social media channel would also be created, but one which offers “real privacy and public control” and plays a role in democracy.

Corbyn also suggested the BDC would collaborate with other institutions set up by the Labour government like a National Investment Bank and Strategic Investment Board to work out how to improve public engagement.

During the lecture, the party leader said: “Imagine an expanded iPlayer giving universal access to licence fee payers for a product that could rival Netflix and Amazon.

“A BDC could use all of our best minds, the latest technology and our existing public assets not only to deliver information and entertainment to rival Netflix and Amazon but also to harness data for the public good.

“A BDC could develop new technology for online decision making and audience-led commissioning of programmes and even a public social media platform with real privacy and public control over the data that is making Facebook and others so rich.”

This proposal, as well as the introduction of today’s policies to increase corporation tax and taxes on the wealthy, and recommendations to renationalise the rail and water industries, means Labour is currently very unpopular with businesses.

 

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