The BBC’s licence fee has come under scrutiny again after reports emerged that newly re-elected British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson will shake-up the annual tax.
Prior to the election last week, Johnson said he was “looking at” abolishing the BBC licence fee altogether. However, the current royal charter does not expire until 2027, so any decision would be premature.
Meanwhile, Johnson is set to decriminalise not paying the £154.50 licence fee. The Prime Minister is consulting on whether people who do not pay the fee, should be prosecuted, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
A BBC spokesman said, “The government has already commissioned a QC to take an in-depth look at this matter and he found that ‘the current system of criminal deterrence and prosecution should be maintained’ and that it is fair and value for money to licence fee payers.
“The review also found that non-payment cases accounted for ‘a minute fraction’ – only 0.3% – of court time.
“Decriminalisation could also mean we have at least £200 million less to spend on programmes and services our audiences love.”
Johnson’s Conservative party has been in war with the BBC after accusations of pro-remain bias, against the party’s leave stance. Downing Street has refused to appear on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and Johnson refused an interview with Andrew Neil.