Rishi Sunak urged to scrap BBC TV Licence in Budget as fee rises 9%

BBC warned licence fee could ‘wither away’ by Rod Liddle

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The BBC is facing criticism as not being fit for the “21st century broadcasting market” in its current form, according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance. According to the latest research from the free market think-tank, the TV licence fee has risen by £13.50, or just over nine per cent, since 2016. The TaxPayers’ Alliance is pushing for Mr Sunak to announce an overhaul of the BBC, which would involve scrapping the licence fee.

As well as its call to axe the licence fee, the pressure group is pushing the Government to scrap funding for the BBC’s fellow public broadcaster, Channel 4.

In its latest report, the economic pressure group cited the rise of other traditional broadcasters, such as ITV and Channel 5, which are not reliant on public money.

Furthermore, the TaxPayers’ Alliance believes the rise and prominence of streaming services, such as Netflix and Disney+, have also made the BBC obsolete in today’s television marketplace.

READ MORE: Taxpayers paid £57k-a-week for MPs before Universal Credit cut

The BBC licence fee is guaranteed to continue until 2027, however the think tank is suggesting the Government rethink how the public broadcaster will look past this date during its mid-review next year.

While the lobbying group is pushing an end to the licence fee, it does acknowledge that a smaller version of the BBC should exist to fulfill the unique roles needed of a public broadcasting service.

In a statement outlining its vision, the Taxpayers Alliance said: “A smaller state-funded BBC – producing output focused on high culture and serious news – appeals to many. Yet this is not what the BBC has been for some time.

“Licence fee money is used to allow the BBC to compete in the commercial market, eliminate local media outlets through its regional stations, and chase a youth audience which is rapidly turning away from traditional public service broadcasters to services such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.”

John O’Connell, the Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, explained why he believes Mr Sunak should prioritise scrapping publicly-funded television broadcasters.

Mr O’Connell said: “In the age of streaming, it’s ridiculous that we have two publicly-owned broadcasters.

“The chancellor should use the upcoming budget to unshackle these media giants from the taxpayer and let them stand on their own two feet.

“That will benefit not just the public and taxpayers, but the broadcasters themselves.”

Currently, a TV licence is needed to watch or record any programmes as they are being broadcasted live on television.

A licence is also needed to watch or stream live programming on an online TV service, such as BBC iPlayer or Sky Go.

Due to being the country’s primary public broadcaster, the BBC is in charge of dealing with the administration of collecting TV licence fees.

As of today,the cost of a TV licence in the UK is £159 for a colour licence if someone were to pay full-price and £53.50 for a black and white licence.

Discounts off the licence fee are available to some vulnerable groups if they meet the eligibility criteria.

For example, anyone who is at least 75 years old and receives Pension Credit will be able to claim a free TV licence.

Furthermore, Britons who are registered as legally blind will be able to receive a 50 percent discount on their television licence bill.

It is a legal requirement to have TV licence to watch all live broadcast programming in the UK so anyone without one is encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Source: Read Full Article