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Pages tagged "Licence Fee"

Does the Government plan to scrap the licence fee and introduce a broadcasting levy?

By Andrew Allison, Chief Executive 

Operation Red Meat, as it has been dubbed, may have been the reason why Nadine Dorries apparently blindsided the BBC by announcing a freeze in the licence fee for two years. She also announced that there will be a review in the way the BBC is funded from 2028.

On the face of it, this is good news. Moving the BBC to a subscription service has always been our preferred option. But the Government hasn't said that subscription is its preferred option.

I was immediately reminded of a report into the future of the BBC by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee in February 2015. When it comes to future funding of the BBC, this was the recommendation:

"The German model of a broadcasting levy on all households is our preferred alternative to the TV licence. Such a levy on all households would obviate the need to identify evaders and would be a fairer way of ensuring those people who use only BBC radio and online services contribute to their costs. A broadcasting levy which applied to all households regardless of whether or not householders watched live television would help support the use of a small proportion of the revenue raised for funding public service content and services by others, enhancing plurality."

That recommendation was written seven years ago, and it is worth noting that Philip Davies MP was the only member of the committee who voted in favour of moving the BBC to a subscription service. But don't be surprised if some form of broadcasting levy isn't discussed as a replacement to the current television licence fee.

I was asked to go on Kevin O'Sullivan's show on talkRADIO last week to discuss the BBC and its future. I argued that if the BBC really is as good as it says it is, people will be tripping over themselves to subscribe. The truth is, though, that the BBC would have to really raise its game.


WATCH our most recent webinar. What is the BBC for? Should it be defunded or reformed?

In a Freedom Association webinar held on Tuesday 4th May 2021, we discussed, “What's the BBC for? Should it be defunded or reformed?”

The panellists were:

Andrew Allison: Andrew is Head of Campaigns for The Freedom Association.

Nick Ross: Nick is a broadcaster, journalist, and campaigner. He became a household name in the UK launching breakfast TV, Watchdog and Crimewatch and flagship radio programmes including World at One, PM and The World Tonight.

Lord Moylan. Daniel was appointed a Conservative Peer in 2020. He was chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, deputy chairman of Transport for London, and chief airport adviser to Boris Johnson as Mayor of London. A lifelong listener of BBC Radio 3, he has described the radio channel as being "infected by a sort of relentless wokeness".

The webinar was chaired by David Campbell Bannerman, Chairman of The Freedom Association and a former Conservative MEP from 2009-2019, representing the East of England.

Click here to become a member of The Freedom Association. Click here if you would like to make a donation to support our work. 

Is the Culture Secretary ready to fight the BBC?

800px-Official_portrait_of_Oliver_Dowden_crop_2.jpgOliver Dowden (pictured left), the new Culture Secretary, gave a speech at the Enders Media and Telecoms Conference yesterday. He told the audience that "in the coming years we will of course be taking a proper look at our public service broadcasting system and the BBC’s central role within it." He also said that we need to consider three questions. Does the BBC truly reflect all of our nation and is it close to the British people? Does the BBC guard its unique selling point of impartiality in all of its output? Is the BBC ready to embrace proper reform to ensure its long term sustainability for the decades ahead?

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The latest debacle about TV licences for over-75s highlights why the telly tax should be scrapped

The BBC is not exactly popular at the moment after its decision to scrap free TV licences for the over-75s who are not in receipt of pension credit. It has reneged on the deal it negotiated with the Government four years ago, and because the Government is a shambles at the moment, it knew it could get away with it. All we have had from the Prime Minister is a spokesman saying that she is very disappointed with the BBC. I know she is on the way out, but could she not have come up with something stronger than that?

The BBC, of course, has painted a doomsday scenario in order to justify its decision. It would have to close down BBC 2 and other channels to plug the gap if it didn't grab the cash from most over-75s. The fact that it is wasteful, has over a hundred employees paid more than the Prime Minister, and pays Gary Lineker £1.7 million a year for commenting on recorded highlights of football matches (something any competent sports journalist could do for a fraction of the cost) doesn't seem to register in the minds of the BBC's top brass. They are more interested in feathering their own nests at the expense of some of the poorest in society. 

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BBC pay revelations highlight why the licence fee should be scrapped

We now know that Gary Lineker, apprentice Socialist and presenter of Match of the Day, earns somewhere between £1,750,000-£1,799,000 a year. Chris Evans earns even more. On the flip side, I can't believe how the BBC is getting away with paying Andrew Neil so little (£200,000-£249,000) in comparison to someone like Huw Edwards, who gets paid £550,000-£599,000 a year. There is also a perceived gender pay gap. On his LBC show yesterday, Iain Dale asked Theresa May if Gary Lineker was worth ten Claire Baldings. That is a question that's going to hang around for a long time. 

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It is not the first time that Jeremy Paxman has criticised his former employer. In 2014 he said that Newsnight was made by 'idealistic 13-year-olds' who 'think they can change the world.' He certainly went much further, though, in an interview for yesterday's Sunday Times Magazine

He said the BBC was 'biased and politically correct'. As for the licence fee, he described it as 'antediluvian'. He said that 'if Amazon and Netflix can do it, so can they.' 

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