BBC call licence fee ‘excellent value for money’ as it faces the axe

BBC call licence fee ‘excellent value for money’ as it faces the axe

The BBC have called the Government’s licence fee freeze and abolishment “disappointing” for the “excellent value” service.

In a joint statement by Richard Sharp, the BBC Chairman and  Tim Davie, the Director-General, the BBC said: “Given the breadth of services we provide, the Licence Fee represents excellent value for money. There are very good reasons for investing in what the BBC can do for the British public and the UK around the world.”

This follows Culture Secretary Nadine Dorris’ announcement that funding would be frozen for the service for the next two years and will be abolished completely in 2027.

The BBC added that this freeze is “disappointing…not just for Licence Fee payers, but also for the cultural industries that rely on the BBC for the important work they do across the UK.”

The freeze will keep the current cost of the licence fee, required to watch live television and access iPlayer services, at £159 until 2024.

Speaking on Twitter on Sunday, the Culture Secretary said: “This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over. Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.”

Conservative MP Peter Bone raised the issue in a heated Prime Minister’s Questions last week, saying: “In this day and age it’s ridiculous to have a state broadcaster. It’s ridiculous that people are forced to pay a fee just because they have a television.

“And what is totally wrong – that people who believe the BBC to be institutionally biased have to subsidize them,” he added.

It is thought that this announcement was the first step in Operation Red Meat, a series of expected announcements to improve the electability of the current government amid falling polling numbers.

“The BBC added: “We have great faith in the BBC and its future…We actively look forward to the national debate on the next Charter and, of course, all options should be considered.

“The BBC is owned by the public and their voice must always be the loudest when it comes to determining the BBC’s future.”

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