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British Public Want BBC Licence Fee Scrapped

Tim Ross, The Daily Telegraph

More than half the public think the television licence fee should be scrapped and the BBC forced to find new ways to fund itself, according to a poll published today.

Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid, the Culture Secretary, says he is prepared to be radical in reconsidering BBC funding Photo: Bethany Clarke

The broadcaster should generate income from advertising rather than relying on taxes or higher licence fee funds, the findings suggest.

There is also substantial support for replacing the licence fee with a subscription charge which is paid only by those wanting to view BBC programmes.

The results, from a survey of more than 2,000 people by ComRes, come as ministers and BBC executives prepare for the government’s review of the broadcaster’s charter in 2016.

The new Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, has indicated he is prepared to be radical in reconsidering the BBC’s funding. He told the Telegraph in May that many families find the current £145.50 licence fee “a lot of money” to pay each year.

The poll, commissioned by the Whitehouse Consultancy media analysts, found 51 per cent would support the idea of abolishing the licence fee and making the BBC fund itself.

They backed the move even if it led to advertisements during programmes, a cut in the number of original programmes the BBC produces the abolition of the BBC’s “public service” broadcast duty.

A third of those questioned in the poll supported the idea of abolishing the licence fee in favour of a subscription model.

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