BBC Licence fee set to be scrapped

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has said the next announcement about the BBC licence fee will be the last – and it was time to discuss new ways to fund and sell “great British content”.

Sign the Petition to scrap the Licence fee:

She said “the days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors” were over.

Her comments comes as reports suggest the government is expected to freeze the annual fee of £159 for two years.

The government has not confirmed this. The BBC has declined to comment.

The licence fee’s existence is guaranteed until at least 31 December 2027 by the BBC’s royal charter, which sets out the broadcaster’s funding and purpose.

A government source confirmed the BBC discussions over the licence fee were ongoing.

But they said the culture secretary recognised pressure on people’s wallets – and the licence fee was an “important bill” for people on low incomes and pensioners, which ministers could control.

Previously, Ms Dorries, who was appointed culture secretary last September, said she thought the BBC should exist, but it needed to be able to take on competitors such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

At the Conservative party conference in October, Ms Dorries said the broadcaster needed “real change” in order to represent the entire UK and accused it of “groupthink”.

The BBC was “a beacon for the world”, she said, but she thought people who had worked their way up had a similar background, a certain political bias and thought and talked the same.

Labour’s shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell accused the prime minister and Ms Dorries of seeming “hell-bent on attacking this great British institution because they don’t like its journalism”.

Back to top button