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BBC licence fee row boils over as one stat spells doom for corporation | UK | News UK News

A BBC licence fee row has boiled over after one stat spells doom for the corporation.

According to new statistics, the same number of people in Britain are paying the licence fee as they did 20 years ago despite a massive population increase.

While the population has grown by nearly eight million since 2003, the number of people paying licence fees has not grown with it.

As a result, there are fears one in 10 people could be risking time in prison because they are not paying the annual fee.

However, in August around three million people said they were not going to pay the licence fee because they did not want to watch what the BBC was producing.

As a result of a decline in people willing to pay the licence fee, the body which sells and collects the licence fee, TV Licensing, said it has seen sales decline.

To compensate for a decline in sales, the BBC has increased the price of the licence fee from £159 to £169.50 in April 2024, the equivalent of around an extra 20p per week.

Despite this modest increase, the decision has angered people up and down the country including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

According to the Telegraph, Mr Sunak could block the nine percent increase in the licence fee as he warned the BBC had to be “realistic” during a cost of living crisis.

Mr Sunak explained: “Final decisions haven’t been [made], obviously, but the BBC should be realistic about what it can expect people to pay at a time like this.”

A BBC source told the publication that some of the BBC’s competitors had “put up costs by over 30 percent”.

They added that they believed the BBC was “important to the UK” and “excellent value for money”.

Despite his criticisms, Mr Sunak said he welcomed the BBC’s changes to try and save money and become more efficient.

He said: “The first thing to say is I think it is welcome that the BBC are looking at making savings and efficiencies in how they operate.

“It’s really important that when things are difficult everyone is doing what they can to ease the cost of living for families.

“The BBC, like any other organisation that serves the public, should be looking to do that and cut its cloth appropriately.”

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This notice was published: 2023-12-21 21:15:00

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