The next BBC license fee announcement “will be the last”, the Culture Secretary has said, amid reports it will be frozen for the next two years.
The annual payment, which normally changes on April 1 each year, is expected to remain at the current rate of £159 until April 2024.
Nadine Dorries has indicated that she wants to find a new funding model for the BBC after the current license fee funding agreement expires in 2027.
She wrote on Twitter: “This licensing fee announcement will be the last.
“The days when older people were threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocked on doors are over.
“Now is the time to discuss and debate new ways to fund, support and sell great UK content.”
The fee is set by the government, which announced in 2016 that it would increase with inflation for five years from April 1, 2017.
Only those who benefit from a pension credit do not have to pay the annual sum.
A BBC source told The Sunday Times: “There are very good reasons to invest in what the BBC can do for the British public and the creative industries, and the (profile of) the UK in the world. .
“Anything below inflation would put an unacceptable strain on the BBC’s finances after years of cuts.”
The BBC declined to comment.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has also been contacted for comment.