Johnson ‘could look at’ abolishing BBC licence fee

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Media caption The prime minister is asked whether he would ditch the TELEVISION licence cost

Boris Johnson has stated the possible abolition of the BBC licence cost requires “taking a look at”.

Speaking at a rally in Sunderland, the prime minister questioned just how much longer moneying a broadcaster out of “a basic tax” might be “warranted”.

Ministers have actually concurred the licence charge will remain in location up until a minimum of 2027, when the BBC’s Royal Charter ends.

The charge for a colour TELEVISION licence is presently £ 154.50 a year. It will increase in line with inflation till 2022.

Licence charge earnings deserved £ 3.6 bn to the BBC in 2018-9, representing roughly 75% of the broadcaster’s earnings and moneying TELEVISION, radio and online material. In 2015, 25.8 million families had TELEVISION licences.

The federal government and the BBC are presently associated with a disagreement over the financing of complimentary TELEVISION licences for the over-75s .

Mr Johnson was asked by a member of the general public whether he would think about axing all TELEVISION licences.

The prime minister stated that, while he would not comprise policy with 3 days to precede the election, it was a concern that deserved “taking a look at” in the future.

“You need to ask yourself whether that technique to moneying a media business still makes good sense in the long term provided the manner in which other organisations handle to money themselves,” he stated.

“The system of moneying out of what is a basic tax bears reflection. For how long can you validate a system where everyone who has a TELEVISION needs to pay to money a specific set of TELEVISION and radio channels.”

Various options to the licence charge have actually been drifted throughout the years, consisting of membership services or a mandatory broadcasting levy.

It is traditional for election projects to strain relations in between the BBC and whoever occurs to be in federal government.

But the introduction of social networks – where criticism of the BBC regularly goes viral – and the increase of streaming giants which run a various design, has actually increased pressure on the BBC just recently.

So too has the prime minister’s rejection to be talked to by Andrew Neil for the BBC. Recently, Mr Neil, who talked to all the other celebration leaders, provided a difficulty to Mr Johnson, and revealed an empty chair.

That clip has actually been seen numerous million times on social networks. No 10 didn’t value that much, and doubled down on its position.

Lured by the web, numerous more youthful audiences now invest far more time on Netflix or YouTube than viewing BBC services. That does posture a considerable, possibly existential, obstacle to the BBC in the long term.

The BBC has actually constantly argued, nevertheless, that the licence charge is essential to its civil service design which if it relocated to a membership design it would always be driven just by those who might pay for a membership, and not the entire nation.

Sooner or later on, a choice requires to be made about how finest the BBC can contend, and please the British public, in today’s worldwide media. When there isn’t an election on, it’s most likely best that conversation takes location.

At the time of the last Charter Renewal in 2016, the federal government stated the licence charge was most likely to end up being “less sustainable in the long run”.

While ministers stated there were no strategies to change it with a membership design, they stated the BBC needs to be provided a chance to check out whether to make any of its material readily available on a subscription-only basis.

In its manifesto, Labour states it will guarantee a “healthy future” for all civil service broadcasters, while the Liberal Democrats are guaranteeing to “safeguard the self-reliance of the BBC and established a BBC Licence Fee Commission”.

The Brexit Party is vowing to “phase out” the licence charge.

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  • Boris Johnson
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