The BBC licence fee will rise by less than inflation over the next five years as ministers are concerned over the increasing costs of household bills.
Discussions between the government and the BBC over the £159 a year TV licence are set to close in the coming weeks, and ministers are said to have rejected calls from the corporation for the price to rise in line with inflation like previous years.
A government source said that the BBC was a hugely important national institution, but that equally these were difficult times, and the source added that nobody wanted to punish the BBC but that it had to be subject to the same efficiency as everyone else.
Another source said the BBC had warned that not increasing the licence fee in line with inflation could lead to significant cuts to quality programming.
The fee currently earns the corporation £3.2 billion a year, but there are calls from Tory MPs to reduce it as they point to the success of paid-for streaming services such as Netflix.
One Tory MP said that it doesn’t play well in the red wall and that they didn’t believe that they should be getting any more when they pay Gary Linekar God knows how much.
Ministers have so far resisted suggestions that the licence fee should be frozen or cut, and according to a source, they’re likely to take a mixed approach with below-inflation increases over a few years before it rises in line with inflation near the end of the five years.
Greg Dyke, former director-general of the BBC, said that it was difficult to see why it shouldn’t increase with inflation given the competition it now faces. He said that the BBC has had a good run in terms of quality drama, for instance, but that costs lots of money, and that a lot of money goes on the news and that it needs to be properly financed.
Lord Grade of Yarmouth, a former chairman of the BBC, said that times were hard and that the BBC wasn’t immune from what was going on in the rest of the country.
The government is said to be concerned about increases in the cost of living.
The BBC seems to be obsessed with rap and street culture which are of no interest to the preponderance of licence payers, and it’s criminal that we have to pay a licence fee for the likes of Gary Linekar and the rest, but it seems the jokes on us good folk.
The TV licence should be scrapped because it was intended for a time when technology was very different and there was a real monopoly for a national broadcaster, but now we can choose between hundreds of providers, and there are many that don’t even watch the BBC channels.
The old world is over, and let’s be honest, it’s a complete rip-off and a disgrace at how much it costs, and we’re now watching its slow and inevitable death, and the BBC should be planning for the impending moment when they will have to adapt to the competition, and many people don’t see why they should be paying so much for their service, and the BBC is in denial of what will ultimately happen.
And there’s no doubt about it, the TV licence needs to be scrapped, but then Boris Johnson likes having a state-owned broadcaster, who will broadcast whatever he tells them to. Just stop paying for the licence fee, and don’t let any capita insectors into your home.