Licence fee will be frozen until 2024 but Dorries softens line on abolition
The Guardian|January 18, 2022
The culture secretary, Nadine Dorries , has confirmed that the BBC’s funding will be frozen for the next two years – but has softened her stance on the permanent abolition of the television licence fee.
Jim Waterson

The annual levy on television usage will remain at £159 until April 2024 , requiring cuts to the BBC’s output. However, it will then rise in line with inflation for the next four years – a better deal than had been proposed in some press briefings from the government.

Dorries also watered down her own suggestion that the licence fee would be abolished from 2028 onwards , raising suspicions that the focus of her provocative intervention at the weekend was to distract from Boris Johnson’s woes.

On Sunday, Dorries tweeted that the current licence fee settlement “will be the last” and the “days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over”.

Yet when formally announcing the BBC funding settlement in parliament yesterday , her language was notably softer. She insisted that no final decision had been made on the future of the licence fee: “It is not a policy – we are announcing a debate and a discussion. The decision as to what the future funding model looks like is up for discussion.”

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