Culture secretary

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries warns BBC she is listening to fee opponents

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries warns the BBC she is listening to opponents of the license fee which funds the broadcaster – and says ministers plan to make the system ‘fit for the future’

  • The Culture Secretary said ministers are looking at the £159 payment
  • Former minister Alun Cairns demanded a reduction, saying it was like the Poll Tax
  • Philip Hollobone said ministers should ‘remove licensing fees completely’










Nadine Dorries said she was listening to opponents of the BBC license fee today as she faced demands for it to be cut or scrapped altogether.

The Culture Secretary said ministers were reviewing the £159 payment to ensure the funding system was ‘fit for the future’ as she answered questions in the House of Commons.

Backbench Tories have attacked the fee, with former minister Alun Cairns suggesting it should be reduced or frozen, saying it was like the poll tax that ended Margaret Thatcher’s term as prime minister .

However, Kettering MP Philip Hollobone went further, demanding the government use a funding review due next year ‘to do away with license fees altogether’.

Ms Dorries said the future of licensing fees will be decided upon charter renewal in 2027, but added: ‘These discussions…both editorially and a number of layers and recently put prominently when responding to Serota’s review, are on the whole under consideration moving forward.His comments have been noted.

The Culture Secretary said ministers were reviewing the £159 payment to ensure the funding system was ‘fit for the future’ as she answered questions in the House of Commons.

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone went further, demanding the government use a review of funding due next year

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone went further, demanding the government use a funding review due next year ‘to do away with license fees altogether’.

Licensing fees currently bring the company £3.2billion a year, but Tory backbenchers have said they should be reduced due to the success of paid streaming services such as Netflix.

Licensing fees currently bring the company £3.2billion a year, but Tory backbenchers have said they should be reduced due to the success of paid streaming services such as Netflix.

Reports suggest the cost of the license could be frozen for two years to ease the cost of living crisis.

Licensing fees currently bring the company £3.2billion a year, but Tory backbenchers have said they should be reduced due to the success of paid streaming services such as Netflix.

Mr Cairns, MP for Vale of Glamorgan and former Welsh secretary, said much of the funding is used to create ‘quality shows’ but ‘significant sums’ are ‘used to take competition out of the sector independent”.

He said the levy “is the most regressive form of taxation, similar to poll tax.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said her priority was to ‘ensure a settlement that offers good value for money’ while ensuring the BBC can continue to deliver ‘very high quality services’.

She said: “I have had constructive discussions with the BBC and I believe we are close to reaching an agreement.”

The minister helps ahead of the next charter review process “we will undertake a detailed review of the TV license model to ensure it is fit for the future”.

She called the broadcaster a ‘beacon for Britishness’ and ‘for excellence in broadcasting’, but said that ‘even BBC editors and those who run the BBC accept that there is had problems and that they are dealt with, and that is part of the ongoing discussions”.

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