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JKDerry2,458 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
In my opinion the best way for the government if they truly want to abolish the licence fee after the current charter ends on December 31st 2027 is the following:

Fund the BBC through a government grant set at a level agreed by the BBC, the government and an independent body such as OFCOM - this public money would be provided through general taxes like many other areas of life are funded, and this would mean the licence fee could be abolished.

The fund could be called a public broadcasting grant. The grant is set for a five year period, after which it is reviewed by the government, BBC and OFCOM.

The fund provided would come as part of a new "charter" agreement, where the BBC would get this set amount, but in return would have to fulfil public service obligations, reduce its overall size as the grant would be less than what they get from the licence fee

Also, in return for the set annual grant, all of the BBC's commercial revenue generated from BBC Studios, BBC Studioworks would go directly back to the Treasury and not to the BBC, so it would mean the more the BBC exploit their commercial subsidiaries, the more the taxpayers would get back.

In my opinion, this would solve the licence fee problem, keep the BBC in tact, reduce the size of the bloated corporation, cut back on services it simply does not need to do, and ensure the BBC remains a public service broadcaster in the UK.
dosxuk4,485 posts since 22 Oct 2005
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
So rather than commercial ventures topping up the licence fee, you'd give that back to the government? Wouldn't that mean the BBC has no benefit from producing programming that can be sold to other broadcasters, so why would they bother?

Sounds like a significant reduction of income, so which services would remain? Cutting a few news presenters at the weekend won't save the sorts of money your taking about - 25+% of their income would be gone.
JKDerry2,458 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
So rather than commercial ventures topping up the licence fee, you'd give that back to the government? Wouldn't that mean the BBC has no benefit from producing programming that can be sold to other broadcasters, so why would they bother?

Sounds like a significant reduction of income, so which services would remain? Cutting a few news presenters at the weekend won't save the sorts of money your taking about - 25+% of their income would be gone.

It was only a suggestion - I see a lot of people on here complain, but offer no alternatives apart from the usual subscription nonsense.


Having subscriptions to a public service broadcaster is nonsense, the whole point of a public service broadcaster is they are available to everyone, everywhere in the country, so having to pay for it via subscription is nonsense.

So, apart from subscription - what other ways can the BBC be funded without the licence fee?
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JCB2,126 posts since 21 Sep 2004
So rather than commercial ventures topping up the licence fee, you'd give that back to the government? Wouldn't that mean the BBC has no benefit from producing programming that can be sold to other broadcasters, so why would they bother?

Sounds like a significant reduction of income, so which services would remain? Cutting a few news presenters at the weekend won't save the sorts of money your taking about - 25+% of their income would be gone.

It was only a suggestion - I see a lot of people on here complain, but offer no alternatives apart from the usual subscription nonsense.


Having subscriptions to a public service broadcaster is nonsense, the whole point of a public service broadcaster is they are available to everyone, everywhere in the country, so having to pay for it via subscription is nonsense.

So, apart from subscription - what other ways can the BBC be funded without the licence fee?


There are not other ways. Which is precisely why this debacle is so stupid. Yes, the license fee is archaic but it works. It's only the outdated name that is silly. People only have a problem with it because they've been told they should have a problem with it.
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Ne1L C1,633 posts since 11 Sep 2011
Replace the licence fee with a "National Broadcasting Levy" (NBL)

Under the NBL everyone would pay a fixed fee of £120 per year for all the free radio and tv stations and create a quality threshold system. Have the likes of Drama and ITV 3 reformat into a "UK Gold Mark II". ITV 4 would be renamed ITV Sport. Merge CBBC, Cbeebies and Children's ITV output into a "TCC Mark II". The BBC 4 documentary output and the factual output of Yesterday be merged into a "UK Documentary Mark II"

Enshrine in law a "PSB Protocol" where BBC1, 2 ITV, C4 and C5 would be legally obliged to have a minimum of 15 hours a week PSB programming including a minimum of 1 and a half hours a day of local programming. If they fail in that then fine them £100,000

In effect create a "Best Of British" where viewers would have a streamlined service and feel they are getting better value for money and the channels would be made to earn their money.

That's my suggestion and I offer it for what it's worth.
Last edited by Ne1L C on 24 February 2020 5:59pm - 5 times in total
Neil Jones6,209 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today


I'd like to know which surveys the 'general public' have answwered and not some Daily Mail / Express newspaper owner. Just remember what's their agenda in all this. Sure some elements on the BBC I never use - like local radio - but I would defend the BBC existance for the sake of it's other UK rivals.


The storms over the last three weeks proved their worth.


That is very true. I will admit I don't listen to local radio its at times like that where the floods have caused so much damage where they more than justify their existence.


The problem with going down the "I don't use this, that and other, why should I pay for that?" line is how do you police something like that? How do you ensure Fred, who said he never listens to BBC Radio How and BBC Radio Hiawatha, can't listen to those stations yet still give him access to Radio Sitting Bull and Radio Wigwam?

Its like saying "I don't watch CBBC, I don't watch CBeebies, I don't even watch BBC News, but I do watch Parliament on occasion, so please knock three eighths off my annual fee". News throws up an interesting problem since the 1, 6 and 10 are simulcast anyway on BBC One so if you're not paying for "news", are you paying for the channel or the bulletins or even the stuff that News effectively bankrolls like Panorama for example. Where do you draw the line on how many hairs you want to split on this model?
Ne1L C1,633 posts since 11 Sep 2011

The storms over the last three weeks proved their worth.


That is very true. I will admit I don't listen to local radio its at times like that where the floods have caused so much damage where they more than justify their existence.


The problem with going down the "I don't use this, that and other, why should I pay for that?" line is how do you police something like that? How do you ensure Fred, who said he never listens to BBC Radio How and BBC Radio Hiawatha, can't listen to those stations yet still give him access to Radio Sitting Bull and Radio Wigwam?

Its like saying "I don't watch CBBC, I don't watch CBeebies, I don't even watch BBC News, but I do watch Parliament on occasion, so please knock three eighths off my annual fee". News throws up an interesting problem since the 1, 6 and 10 are simulcast anyway on BBC One so if you're not paying for "news", are you paying for the channel or the bulletins or even the stuff that News effectively bankrolls like Panorama for example. Where do you draw the line on how many hairs you want to split on this model?



You can't police it. I believe wholeheartedly that the BBC is one of the best things about this country and should be preserved. Yes I don't listen to BBC Local radio but the service they provide during events such as the floods is worth its weight in gold for those people affected. To my mind paying for the BBC is a social service. By providing funding for the likes of BBC Radio Sheffield I feel I'm able to play a small part in keeping that lifeline open.

In a way its like paying council tax for the emergency services. You may not need them but you're glad they're there.
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dosxuk4,485 posts since 22 Oct 2005
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
So rather than commercial ventures topping up the licence fee, you'd give that back to the government? Wouldn't that mean the BBC has no benefit from producing programming that can be sold to other broadcasters, so why would they bother?

Sounds like a significant reduction of income, so which services would remain? Cutting a few news presenters at the weekend won't save the sorts of money your taking about - 25+% of their income would be gone.

It was only a suggestion - I see a lot of people on here complain, but offer no alternatives apart from the usual subscription nonsense.


That's the thing, it's easy to come up with alternatives, as long as you don't look into the issues with those alternatives. The people stirring the "scrap the licence fee" pot only want you to think there is a better way, not to actually look at alternative proposals and compare them to what we currently have. After all, the exact same strategy worked for them with Brexit.
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Ne1L C1,633 posts since 11 Sep 2011
like paying council tax for the emergency services. You may not need them but you're glad they're there.


Actually your "council tax payments" for emergency services supplement those services at a local level, they don't outright pay for them. Vast majority of the funding of fire, police and ambulance comes from government.


I understand that. I was just using an analogy.
Neil Jones6,209 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
like paying council tax for the emergency services. You may not need them but you're glad they're there.


Actually your "council tax payments" for emergency services supplement those services at a local level, they don't outright pay for them. Vast majority of the funding of fire, police and ambulance comes from government.


I understand that. I was just using an analogy.


A better example would have been "I like paying council tax because I love reading." The library is primarily funded from that. You don't "need" your library but when you find a book you want to read but don't want to pay £20 for something you may only read once, you'll be glad the library's there and you can borrow it for nothing (not strictly nothing but like the NHS, free at the point of use even though technically you have paid for it).
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Riaz629 posts since 6 Jan 2016
One of the driving forces behind the proposal to abolish the TV licence fee is the rise in the number of homes that do not have a TV licence (for legitimate or illegitimate reasons) over the past few years.

As detector vans no longer contain detection equipment, other than a pair of binoculars, then only visual checks are able to determine whether a resident is watching broadcast TV or iPlayer without a licence for their address. This can be quite difficult to implement in practice. Even in cases of a working TV clearly on show through the window of a front room, TV Licensing officers have to PROVE that a broadcast channel is being watched, which can be tricky in the case of many satellite or cable channels in order to furnish sufficient evidence to prosecute the resident.