Nadine Dorries hits out at major TV licence fee increase in line with inflation
The public will face a sharp increase in the price of a licence as the cost of living impacts all parts of life.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s policy is for the licence fee to rise once again in 2024 following a two-year freeze.
According to reports by the Daily Telegraph, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is predicting that the inflation figure used will be 8.2%.
This would be a rise of £13 with the TV charge set to increase from £159 to £172, the largest such rise in two decades.
The OBR also predicts that this will take the BBC’s licence fee revenue up from £3.7 billion in 2023 to £4 billion next year.
This is the first time this figure has been reached by the corporation.
Former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries attacked the move, saying: “I am in favour of freezing it until a full review of how the BBC is funded is completed and alternatives explored.”
The MP froze the licence fee during her time as head of the department overseeing UK culture.
This comes as the BBC grapples with controversy relating to freedom of speech from contributors like Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker.
There have also been issues raised over impartiality after it was found that BBC chairman Richard Sharp secured a sizeable loan for ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Of the rise, a BBC spokesperson said: “The Government agreed a six-year licence fee settlement in January 2022 which froze the licence fee for two years, with increases in line with inflation from 2024.
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“It is not for the BBC to speculate on what inflation might be and how that might impact the licence fee in future years.
“Ultimately it is for Government to set and confirm the cost of a licence each year. The BBC will continue to focus on what it does best: working to deliver world class content and value for all its audiences.”
A Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport spokesperson added: “We agreed a fair settlement with the BBC that will see the licence fee remain at £159 until 2024 to protect licence fee payers from current inflationary pressures, and then rise in line with inflation until the end of 2027. The exact level of inflation is yet to be confirmed.
“The BBC’s funding model faces major challenges due to changes in the way people consume media, which is why we are working with it to look at ways to ensure it is sustainable in the long-term.”