Millions of Brits to face higher council tax bills if BBC licence fee scrapped – here’s who will be affected

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2021/01/17: General view of the Broadcasting House, BBC headquarters in Central London. (Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

MILLIONS of Brits could face higher council tax bills if the BBC license fee is scrapped.

BBC chairman Richard Sharp said the broadcast service could be provided for a household levy or an extra charge to council tax bills instead.

Council tax bills could get higher if the BBC licensee fee gets scrapped

Richard Sharp said he is open to alternative ways of funding

His suggestion comes amid calls to abolish the £159 fee altogether.

The license fee was frozen for two years back in January as the government attempted to support families hit by rising living costs.

This means that households will be paying the £159 fee until 2024.

Speaking to the Times, the corporation’s boss – an ex-Goldman Sachs banker – said the license feew as “great value” but said he is open to alternatives.

He said he was against funding through general taxation because “politicians should not control the purse strings”.

“We study what it would take to replicate BBC output in the private sector. It’s 450 quid a year,” he said.

Sharp explained he is considering other forms of funding such as a levy on all households or an extra BBC fee on council tax bills with the price being determined by the size of each home or even a Netflix-style subscription model.

Another option would be to offer a subscription service where users could choose between a basic BBC package and a more expensive package with extra services such as binge-watching.

Currently, the license fee generates a total of £3.7 billion per year- about 74 per cent of BBC’s revenue.

Sharp notes that Germany raises more money for its public service broadcaster than we do here” after it introduced a household levy in 2013.

The broadcasting fee costs €18.36 (nearly £16) a month, regardless of whether the residents use its services or not.

You don’t need a TV licence to own or have a TV set.

However, watching live TV or catch-up through the BBC iPlayer on any device without a TV licence is a criminal offence and if you’re caught, you could be fined up to £1,000.