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Friday, June 14, 2024
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HomeBBC WatchLicence fee up – yet still BBC brandishes the begging bowl

Licence fee up – yet still BBC brandishes the begging bowl

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ON APRIL 1, the BBC licence fee rose from £159 a year to £169.50, a 6.6 per cent increase. This gives Britain one of the highest TV licence fees in Europe:

Licence fee income for the BBC fell slightly from a 2021/22 record of £3.8bn to £3.74bn in 2022/23:

This recent fall in licence fee income was presumably due to an increase in the number the BBC calls ‘the TV licence fee evasion rate’ which has almost doubled from 5.50 per cent in 2012/13 to 10.31 per cent in 2022/23:

The rest of us might call those who no longer pay the licence fee ‘sensible people who are fed up with the BBC’s constant left-wing, anti-British, Greta-worshipping propaganda’.

Not content with the April 1 increase in the licence fee, the BBC seems to have come up with a cunning plan to pocket even more of our money. Ten years ago, in 2014, under pressure over ever-rising costs and bloated staff salaries, the BBC agreed to fund the full cost of its World Service from the licence fee and its commercial income. Now it has decided that it cannot afford to pay for the World Service in full and claims, possibly hyperbolically, that any decline in the service risks damaging democracy. Last year the then corporation chairman Richard Sharp warned: ‘I believe the case is now very strong for the government to look again at taking back responsibility for funding the BBC World Service – at what is a critical moment for Britain and for democracy worldwide.’

To justify this latest proposed raid on taxpayers’ already overtaxed pockets, the BBC has claimed that it needs to compete with Russian and Chinese state-controlled broadcasters. As is usual with all British institutions – the NHS, Border Force, the police, the military – the BBC sees the answer to all its problems as grabbing ever more of our money. Such concepts as improving the quality of the BBC’s output, cutting back on umpteen levels of useless, over-paid, over-pensioned managers, providing trustworthy and unbiased broadcasting, and divesting services such as local radio which could be better provided by private companies, don’t seem to have occurred to our national broadcaster. Moreover, the more the number of TV, radio and internet channels grows, the lower the number of people who watch or listen to the BBC. However, rather than adjusting its output and its staff salaries to match its declining audience, our BBC feels that the fewer people it serves, the more of our money it should get. Not many commercial companies would survive for long if they kept producing ever more of a product which ever fewer people wanted. Unfortunately for us taxpayers, such logic doesn’t seem to have guided the strategy of what the national broadcaster repeatedly tells us is ‘our BBC’.

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David Craig
David Craig
David Craig's latest book THERE IS NO CLIMATE CRISIS is available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon

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