I’m incredibly disappointed that the BBC are not abiding by the agreement struck in 2015 to fund the Licence Fee for those aged over 75.
It is time we had a full review of whether we need the licence fee at all and whether the BBC should be self funding.
In the House of Commons I asked:
Many of my constituents question why they are forced to pay for an outdated and regressive tax to fund an organisation whose values are becoming increasingly detached from their own.
The BBC’s decision to renege on its agreement to fund the licence fee for those aged 75 and over has only served to harden these views. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the time has come to review the very existence of the licence fee?
John Whittingdale, Minister of State, responded saying:
I share a lot of the criticisms that my hon. Friend makes of the licence fee. It is highly regressive, and there is no means testing or benefit available to anybody under 75.
However, in the past it was always felt that, for all its faults, there was no better way of funding the BBC. That may become increasingly questioned, particularly as more and more people obtain their programming online.
Undoubtedly, that debate will form part of the next charter review.