UK households could face a new BBC tax, even if they don’t have a TV in their homes.
Changing the BBC TV license could see the current fee of £159 per year scrapped to make way for a viable alternative to the current license fee, according to a new report.
The Lords Communications and Digital Committee said the model, in which each household would be required to pay a flat fee regardless of its consumption, could provide the broadcaster with “predictable and sustainable levels of income”.
In a report on the BBC’s future funding, the committee said it should be means-tested to make it fairer than the current model, linking fees to council tax to achieve this.
This method has been adopted in Switzerland and Germany where people are charged for their public broadcasting service according to the amount of property tax they pay.
In the 73-page document, the committee said many of the benefits of existing license fees are “under threat” and the model has become “regressive”.
He ruled out two widely touted funding models during the ongoing debate over the company’s funding.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers Alliance, said: ‘Taxpayers should not be forced to support the BBC through license fees or any other tax. This crazy concept is no better than the licensing fee.
Why do we pay a TV license fee?
BBC ‘open-minded’ on future funding
It comes after Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced in January that licensing fees would be frozen at £159 for the next two years until April 2024.
The minister said she wanted to find a new funding model before the current deal expires in 2027 because it is “completely outdated”.
She also announced a review of the BBC’s funding model, which she said was due to start before the Commons summer recess on July 22, although this was cast in doubt following Boris Johnson’s resignation as conservative leader.
A BBC spokesperson said: “We welcome the Lord’s report. We agree that we must continue to reform, which we have done at pace.
“It is clear that the BBC must remain relevant and we welcome the report’s conclusion that a BBC market failure would not be a good outcome.
“Beyond that, we are open-minded about the future and it is true that there is debate about whether the fee should evolve and if so what comes next.”