BBC ordered to move to subscriber model and stop its ‘public service broadcasting tax’

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Director of Communications at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Annabel Denham, claimed the BBC is charging a “public service broadcasting tax” which Britons are forced to pay. She said that the broadcaster needs to re-focus its content on what is popular and what people are willing to pay for. Speaking to talkRADIO, Ms Denham said: “There are many, many issues at the BBC and in my view, it needs to be salami sliced and moved to a subscriber model just like the video streaming services are.

“It’s massively diversified, it needs to focus on one or two things.

“What are its most popular radio shows, what are its most popular TV show, focus on that and start to ask the people who actually want those services to pay for it.

“Ultimately what we have is a public service broadcasting tax.

“People are forced to pay the licence fee whether or not they watch BBC shows or BBC news and that’s the ultimate problem we have here.

“When they move to a subscriber model, when they’re forced to think like an ordinary business and try to establish what consumers want and will pay for then they can start to choose how they spend those funds.

“Who they want their talent to be and how that talent is going to attract as many viewers or listeners as possible.

“But at the moment, there is no accountability. There is no incentive for them to think in a more businesses minded way because there is a tax, people have to pay whether they like it or not.”

Her comments come as former Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice said Brits should not be forced to pay a fixed amount for a fixed set of TV services.

Speaking to the campaign Defund the BBC, Mr Tice said: “In terms of day to day, it’s professional and I’ve actually rarely to had anything to grumble about in terms of the day to day operational treatment.

“Of course, both sides will argue they are a bit biased one way or the other.

“I think it’s not so much that, it’s about the overall concept of forcing people in today’s world to pay a fixed amount for a series of services that frankly many people no longer want.

“It just feels in today’s world when there’s so much competition, you can get effectively almost all of what the BBC offers from other people. That’s how competition works.


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“But I think that’s why there needs to be a proper reassessment and that’s why we at the Brexit Party, one of our policies was to have a relook at the BBC licence fee structure.”

His comments come as the Culture Secretary has said he does not want to send a signal that it is legitimate to not pay the TV licence.

Oliver Dowden made the comment to MPs as the Government prepares to publish its response to a consultation on decriminalisation.

He also denied that decriminalising licence fee evasion was an agenda set out by Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser.

The BBC has warned that switching to a civil system would cost the broadcaster more than £200million a year.

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