BBC licence fee to be axed and replaced by new funding model, says Nadine Dorries

·2-min read
BBC licence fee to be axed and replaced by new funding model, says Nadine Dorries

The BBC licence fee could be axed and replaced with a new funding model after 2027, Nadine Dorries has said.

The Culture Secretary said the current model is “completely outdated” and that in the coming months ministers would be “looking very seriously about how we fund the BBC”.

Ms Dorries said she was also considering how media regulator Ofcom could “hold the BBC to account”.

In an interview with the Spectator, Ms Dorries said: “We are going to very soon announce that we are going to be looking very seriously about how we fund the BBC.

“We are ready to implement a new way of funding.”

Ms Dorries said she would also be looking into “how Ofcom hold the BBC to account”.

On Thursday the Government published a white paper aimed at implementing broadcasting reforms to “create a new golden age of British TV and help the nation’s public service broadcasters thrive”.

The document did not provide further details on the BBC’s funding reforms.

In January, Ms Dorries confirmed the licence fee would be frozen at £159 for the next two years, before increasing by roughly 10 per cent over the following four years.

The current licence fee system could potentially be replaced by a Netflix-style subscription “top-up” for entertainment and sport.

Another option includes linking the fee to council tax.

The Culture Secretary has previously criticised the BBC’s “elitist” and “snobbish” approach and has accused the corporation of having too few working-class staff.

It comes as it was revealed that new broadcasting legislation will come into force allowing viewers to complain about shows and films on streaming services such as Netflix.

Ofcom will have the power to fine the services as much as £250,000 if they break a “video on demand code” designed to protect audiences from harmful content, such as misinformation about climate change or the coronavirus.

Ministers hope this will level the playing field for traditional broadcasters, which are subject to rules policed by Ofcom.