BBC licence fee should be decided by referendum campaigners as poll claims 98% AGAINST

5 mins read


With the corporation reeling from revelations about Martin Bashir’s “deceitful” behaviour in the lead-up to his interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, the campaign group Defend the BBC wants the question of how the BBC is funded put to the people. The call for a referendum comes as the BBC negotiates with the Government the future level of licence fee, which today stands at £159 for a television licence. A telephone poll of Sunday Express readers found 98 percent wanted the BBC to lose the licence fee.

Westminster’s public accounts committee this month reported that each year around “200,000 more households choose to opt out of paying for the licence fee”. It also stated that the between “2010 and 2019, the amount of time per day that an adult spent watching broadcast BBC TV fell by 30 percent”.

Rebecca Ryan, campaign director of Defund the BBC said: “The BBC’s outrageous cover up of Martin Bashir’s deceit has really exposed the BBC for what it is: Arrogant, out of touch and beyond reform.

“The licence fee was introduced more than 70 years ago and recent polls show that more than half of Brits think the BBC is bad value. It is about time the British people had a say on whether they want to get rid of the licence fee.

“The British people voted to leave one bloated, out of touch institution in 2016. I am confident they will vote to leave another. Defund the BBC will now focus its efforts on securing and winning a referendum on this important issue.”

Ashfield Conservative MP Lee Anderson last week told the Commons he had “ripped up” his BBC licence and would not give the “rotten” broadcaster any more cash. He argues it should be funded by subscription.

Mr Anderson told the Sunday Express: “They won’t get another penny off me… They are anti-Government; they are, actually the official Opposition to Government at the moment.

“They don’t speak for me and they don’t speak for the vast majority of people in places like Ashfield and Eastwood, and the sooner they are defunded and as soon as it’s a subscription service, as far as I’m concerned, the better.”

Jonathan Gullis, the Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, added: “There is serious concern across the country about the quality, impartiality and relevance of the BBC. The licence fee is a considerable amount [out] of the pockets of hardworking Brits and therefore it is perfectly reasonable for people to want to have a vote on whether they want it to continue.”

Philip Booth of the Institute of Economic Affairs also pressed for radical change, saying: “The licence fee is an anachronism, and the BBC has become a law unto itself… It should either be sold commercially or it should be owned as a mutual organisation by its subscribers.

“It would then be truly accountable to the people who chose to subscribe.”

A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC is the most used media brand in the UK and we continue to offer great value for money. The licence fee remains the agreed method of funding in the BBC Charter until at least 2027.”

The corporation claims it is used by an average of five million adults “every single minute of the day and night”, with 90 percent of UK adults using its services each week.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog