Prime Minister Suggests Possibly Axing the BBC's Licence Fee

By Gary Cutlack on at

That man who's living the dream of being the UK's prime minister at the moment has suggested that a future government may end the licence fee model used to pay for the BBC, with Boris Johnson pondering on if it "makes sense" for the BBC to continue to enjoy its unique funding arrangement.

Johnson said he is not currently planning to abolish the licence fee, as in there's no policy to do so right now. However, he said he's "looking at it" and added: " have to ask yourself whether that kind of approach to funding a TV media organisation still makes sense in the long term given the way other media organisations manage to fund themselves."

He then described the licence fee as being "effectively a general tax" and appears to be aligning himself with the anti-BBC camp in saying it's hard to see the current system continuing to be appropriate in the modern media landscape. In a later follow-up interview he added that the government is also looking at potentially decriminalising the non-payment of the licence fee, a move that'd at least kill off the jobs of the grim freelance bailiffs employed to enforce the fee. [Guardian]