More than two-thirds of Britons want the BBC’s licence fee scrapped, a new poll has indicated, delivering a bodyblow to the corporation after Boris Johnson floated the idea during the general election campaign.
The survey, undertaken by Savanta ComRes on behalf of the Christian Communications Partnership and released today, suggested 67 percent of respondents backed the idea of scrapping or substantially reforming the annual £154.50 charge, which provides the BBC with the vast bulk of its income. Just 15 percent of respondents disagreed.
Speaking before his Conservative Party won an 80-seat majority on December 12, Mr Johnson suggested the future of the licence fee, which last year generated more than £3.8billion for the BBC, could be under review.
He told a campaign event: “You have to ask yourself whether that kind of approach to funding a TV, a media organisation still makes sense in the long term.”
After the election, chief secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak said Mr Johnson had ordered a review, with the suggestion that failure to pay could now be decriminalised.
The survey suggested 50 percent of respondents said they would prefer to receive news free from commercial broadcasters than pay for it through the BBC licence fee, falling to 43 percent of those aged over 55.
Sixty percent said television was their number one source of news, with the proportion increasing to 79 percent of people over 55 years of age.
By contrast, just 39 percent of those aged 18-34 regarded television as their main source of news, compared with 60 percent who relied on social media.
The online survey of 2,018 adults was conducted between December 18 and December 20.