BBC Blow: Over the next five years, the licence fee will climb by less than inflation – ‘Hard times!’
According to reports, ministers have turned down the BBC’s request to raise the licence fee in line with inflation.
According to the Times, the BBC licence fee will climb at a slower rate than inflation over the next five years. The cost of a BBC licence is presently £159 per year. Ministers are concerned that a greater license price would be imposed on households.
“The BBC is a highly significant national institution,” a government source stated. However, these are difficult times.
“No one wants to punish the BBC, but it has to make the same efficiency reductions as the rest of us.”
According to another source, the BBC has suggested that failing to raise the licence fee in step with inflation could result in a reduction in the ‘quality’ of programming.
The government and the BBC are expected to reach an agreement in the coming weeks.
The BBC presently generates £3.2 billion each year from the licence fee.
Greg Dyke, the former director-general of the BBC, said: “Given the competition it now confronts, it’s hard to see why it shouldn’t increase with inflation.”
“The BBC, for example, has had a wonderful run in terms of high-quality drama, but that costs a lot of money.
“A lot of money is spent on news. It need adequate funding.”
This year, the BBC’s over-75s license fee grace period came to an end.
According to the National Audit Office, the BBC has lost £50 million in the last year due to nonpayment of the licence fee.
Unless they are excluded, everyone who watches television without a license faces a £1,000 fine.