BBC agree that TV licence needs updating

2 March 2015

BBC_iPlayer_Radio_logo MPs have said that it is hard to justify the TV licence fee as it stands, and it turns out that the BBC agree, with boss Tony Hall saying the Auntie is at "a crossroads", with the licence fee in need of being updated.

The people of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee said that, instead of a licence that you have to buy and renew, there should be a universal household levy, which means that everyone pays for the BBC whether they watch TV or not. That'll be controversial.

Hall says: "We've always said that the licence fee should be updated to reflect changing times. I welcome the committee's endorsement of our proposal to make people pay the licence fee even if they only watch catch-up television."

"The committee has suggested another route to modernising the licence fee - a universal household levy. Both proposals have the same goal in mind: adapting the licence fee for the internet age. This is vital. Because I believe we need and we will need what the licence fee - in whatever form - makes happen more than ever."

The MPs report said that the licence fee needs to include the fact that iPlayer exists, which you don't need a licence for. It said: "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."

So for those who resent paying the licence fee at all, would now possibly have it taken straight from their wages. Presumably, they'd prefer a subscription based model, as seen in North America with cable channels and the like.

If the licence fee is changing, it looks like it is going to become mandatory, whether you like it or not.



  • tiderium
    The BBC needs to go subscription, or get advertising on it's channels. what they are talking about is a tax pure and simple.
  • Non u.
    So the committee think that everybody uses iPlayer or listens to BBC radio? That's not true! And if they are going to take it our of people's pay, does this mean that those people at work (some of whom don't watch any TV at all) are going to be subsidising those not working to watch TV? I don't like it Mof. Don't let them do it!
  • Albi
    A poll tax then.
  • JonB
    I consider watching TV or listening to radio as luxury items, so making it a mandatory levy would be unfair. What about households who do not watch TV or listen to the radio at all? A levy would be better for the BBC, but a subscription model would be better and fairer for the public. The model chosen will speak volumes about how the government views the public.
  • Mark W.
    I've thought for a long time that a huge amount would be saved* if the licence fee was replaced by funding from taxation. Some of the licence fee is already paid from taxation: licences for the over 75s. *employing people to drive around in TV detector vans, for example. No, I've never seen one, either.
  • Jessie J.
    Cash in hand, and they can fuck themselves.
  • Father J.
    A BBC tax? Not a great surprise - this is only what TVL/BBC have aspired to for years with their licence enforcement policy, ie if you don't have a TV licence you are a CRIMINAL. Not that this will ever happen, mind, it's a guaranteed vote loser - there's nearly half a million people in the UK who don't have/need a TV licence.
  • Jennifer c.
    Just get rid of it, its absolutely ridiculous soto make people pay for the BBC channels when most people don't watch any BBC programs!

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