Council Tax Levy for BBC Funding Proposed

Although this website has made the editorial decision to avoid entering the debate on how state owned public service broadcaster BBC should be funded, a notable development has prompted a news article on this subject.

License to Change, BBC Future Funding is a report that has been published by the House of Lords. The report suggests breaking the link between TV ownership and the charge, by replacing the TV license with an additional charge on council tax (local government) bills. This would allow for lower income households to pay less.

Other ideas include a ring-fenced element of income tax, which would again provide for the charge to be varied according to income. Perhaps a less drastic idea is a reformed version of the TV license fee, which like the methods mentioned above, would feature discounts for low income households.

The report also suggests that the BBC should expand commercial operations, including subscription services, but does note that any domestic subscription service could compromise the BBC’s principal of universal access.

The reported also advised against some previously suggested funding models, including fully subscription based services, direct government grant and advertising.

At the time of writing, 75% of the BBC’s income(amounting to £3.75 billion) comes from the license fee, which has been frozen until 2024. The remainder of the income comes from commercial operations such as UKTV in the UK, and the worldwide Britbox joint venture with ITV.