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TV licence could be replaced by levy


A group of MPs have claimed that the TV licence does not have a long term future in the UK, and may be replaced with a levy in the next 15 years.

The House of Commons, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has claimed that the fee of £145.50 a year is getting “harder and harder to justify”. This is due to changes in the way people access media, such as via computers or mobile phones. The MPs announced that a compulsory levy per household may work better instead.

The report the committee completed claimed that they could not rush abolishing the licence fee, and the BBC must prepare for a possibility of change in the 2020s. The report said that the best alternative to the licence fee would be a compulsory broadcasting levy paid by all households, regardless of whether they watch TV, or how they watch.

The current licence fee is applied to every household that watches or records live TV. Catch up services such as BBC Iplayer does not require a TV licence.

The BBC's director of strategy James Purnell said:
"They are saying the licence fee should continue for the next years and think the BBC should continue for the next 10 years when its comes up for charter renewal after the election.
"We actually agree with them that the licence fee should be modernised. We have said this should extend to catch-up services, when people are watching catch-up for example on their tablets.
"They have come up with a more radical solution with a broadcast levy where every household would pay."

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