TV Licence Fee To Stop In 2027
18 Jan 2022
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has laid down the gauntlet confirming that BBC funding is to be frozen for two years.
The licence fee which pays for BBC services including TV, radio, the BBC website, podcasts, iPlayer and apps will remain until at least 31 December 2027 by the BBC’s royal charter.
Fixed at £159 until 2023, the fee will rise in line with inflation for the following four years.
“This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over,” Dorries said speaking in the House of Commons on Monday.
“Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content,”
“The BBC must support people at a time when their finances are strained, make savings and efficiencies, and use the billions in public funding it receives to deliver for viewers, listeners and users.”
The move has raised doubts about the long-term financial future and editorial independence of the public service broadcaster under a Conservative government.
An entirely new funding model will need to be established with potential options including a subscription service, part-privatisation, or direct government funding.
BBC chairman Richard Sharp and director-general Tim Davie voiced their concerns “for the cultural industries who rely on the BBC” a joint statement.
“A freeze in the first two years of this settlement means the BBC will now have to absorb inflation. That is disappointing – not just for licence fee payers, but also for the cultural industries who rely on the BBC for the important work they do across the UK,”
“The BBC’s income for UK services is already 30% lower in real terms than it was 10 years ago. We will set out the implications of the settlement later, before the end of the financial year, but it will necessitate tougher choices which will impact licence fee payers.”