No surprise the BBC favours this….From the Independent:
The BBC will back a radical overhaul of the licence fee, paving the way for the end of the current system of funding the state broadcaster, the Corporation’s head, Tony Hall, is expected to say today.
In a speech to staff at Broadcasting House, Lord Hall is expected to indicate the Corporation’s backing for a broadcasting levy that would apply to every household, regardless of whether they have a television.
Last week the parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee said the £145.50 annual licence fee should ultimately be replaced by a German-style “broadcasting levy” that would apply to every household. The change would allow the BBC to collect funds from the estimated 500,000 households which claim not to have a television or only watch programmes on-demand through platforms like the BBC iPlayer.
However MPs believe the earliest that a levy could be introduced in the UK would be 2026.
The system, introduced in Germany in 2013, would do away with the need to detect and prosecute those who avoid buying a TV licence. It is estimated that licence-fee collection costs £120m, with the BBC losing £250m to those who evade paying the charge.
Not a bad little earner….500,000 new ‘subscribers’ providing £73 million…plus £120 million not spent on collection costs, plus £250 million it claims it now loses from evasion….nearly half a billion extra in the BBC kitty all paying for….
“….a strong BBC helping bind the country together at home and championing it abroad. A British creative beacon to the world. Providing a universal service for a universal fee. An internet-first BBC which belongs to everyone.”
A household levy would future-proof the BBC since it reaffirms the concept that its contribution to public service broadcasting ought to be funded by a universal tax.
A BBC that ‘binds the country together’? Or a BBC intent on tearing it apart…remember this is the BBC that tells you there is no such thing as an English identity.
As for its ‘contribution to public service’…this is the BBC that has totally corrupted politics in this country and is working to gerrymander the general election in favour of one political party.
Robin Aitken has his own views on the BBC’s merits…
Among the BBC top brass there is a perennial anxiety about a perceived threat to its funding. And who could blame them? Consider this: unlike any of its media competitors the BBC is able – give or take a few million – to predict what its income will be next year and the year after that. Now think how much of an advantage that gives the Corporation. While other broadcasters, and all newspapers, must fight tooth and nail to maintain an income stream, BBC strategists can plan their future operations at leisure. That hefty wad of banknotes comfortably insulates them from immediate financial worries and allows them to plough money into new ventures where start-up costs can be intimidating for competitors. It is why the BBC has been able to develop its world-class website: the Corporation threw money at it until it worked properly with the result that it is now a global leader in online news.
So no wonder the BBC takes any threat to cut down the licence fee money tree seriously. Their salaries – and the status and success of the Corporation – depend on its continuation.
If – God-willing – there is a Conservative government next year when the BBC’s Royal Charter comes up for renewal, a bargain could be struck. The licence fee could be maintained – but not increased (it will be salutary for the Corporation to live within its means).
In return the BBC should renew its vows to impartiality; no more fixing the agenda to suit the Left; no more old pals appointments like that of Director of Strategy James Purnell (ex Labour minister); no more left-wing rants masquerading as ‘comedy’ (viz The News Quiz). A BBC fair to all, one we can all be proud of.
Well…. we can but hope.