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BBC bosses commit to ‘making strong case’ to Government amid licence fee axing debate

BBC bosses have pledged to ‘continue to make a strong case to the Government for investing’ in the corporation after it was hinted that the licence fee will be scrapped.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said there will be plans for an overhaul after declaring the next announcement about the BBC licence fee ‘will be the last’.

It comes amid reports the fee will also be frozen for the next two years – which would mean a cut to funding in real terms, as inflation is currently 5.1%.

Now, BBC director-general Tim Davie and chairman Richard Sharp have sent a message to staff saying they ‘welcomed’ debate and ‘look forward to engaging in a discussion about public service broadcasting in the UK and how best to fund it’.

As the Independennt reports, they also reminded staff members that the licence fee is ‘fixed’ until the end of 2027 and what happens after then ‘is a matter for public discussion and debate’.

‘At the moment the discussions about the future level of the licence fee for the rest of this Charter period are still ongoing, although we do expect them to conclude very soon,’ the message to staff read.

‘We will continue to make a strong case to the Government for investing in the BBC. There are very good reasons for investing in what the BBC can do for the British public, the UK creative industries, and the place of the UK in the world,’ they added.

‘This is the case that we’ll continue to make to the Government right until the last moment.’

The pair also said ‘it is for the Government to set the licence fee at the level that they believe is appropriate.

‘As soon as we have more information we will let you know. In the meantime, thank you for your continued hard work, commitment and creativity.’

It comes after Ms Dorries indicated she wanted to find a new funding model for the BBC after the current licence fee funding deal expires in 2027.

The BBC licence fee is an annual payment which is currently set at £159. It normally changes on April 1 each year but it is expected to freeze for two years until April 2024, at which point it’s speculated the fee will be axed.


Credit: Original article published here.

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