BBC TV licence POLL: Should the fee be scrapped after Gary Lineker row? | Personal Finance | Finance
Britons are cancelling their TV licences are the BBC has faced a weekend of controversy. The public broadcaster asked Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker to step back from presenting over an impartiality row, Question Time presenter Fiona Bruce was accused of trivialising domestic abuse, and an episode of Sir David Attenborough’s new series was reportedly pulled over fears of political backlash. So, do you think the BBC licence fee should be scrapped? Vote in our poll.
One viewer, Simone Gordon, told the PA news agency: “I have felt for a while that there has been bias towards the Government shown by the BBC in its news coverage.
“The treatment of Gary Lineker this week confirmed what I feared. Fiona Bruce describing Stanley Johnson in last night’s Question Time hitting his wife ‘just the once’ seemed further proof of this.
“The BBC’s decision not to broadcast [Sir] David Attenborough’s episode in case it offended right-wing viewers was the final straw. I had to cancel my TV licence otherwise I would feel that I would be supporting their agenda.”
READ MORE: BBC faces calls to ‘refund licence fee’ for Match Of The Day coverage
The 42-year-old Labour voter from Lincoln continued: “I think the BBC has sold its soul – the once great public service broadcaster is now in my view nothing more than a mouthpiece for the most right-wing British government ever to hold office. Shame on them. The BBC is not, in my view, impartial anymore.”
All households that watch or stream live programming content are required to pay the annual £159 TV licence fee, with some groups including those over 75 on pension credit exempt.
The Government froze the annual fee for two years, until 2024, but the bill will continue until at least 2027 when the BBC’s royal charter is up for renewal.
IF YOU CAN’T SEE THE POLL ABOVE, CLICK HERE
Former Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg agreed that the licence fee should be scrapped. He told GB News: “I have long thought that the licence fee is a constraint on the BBC as it stops it earning revenues by subscriptions on the iPlayer, or by taking advertising.
“It leads to a heavily regulated media based around what the BBC needs and what is needed for a state-funded channel. And so, yes, I’m saying the licence fee has passed its sell-by date and it needs to go.”
He added: “There are so many different ways of watching recorded programmes now that you don’t invariably need a licence fee. I certainly wouldn’t pay a licence fee if you don’t need it.”
Meanwhile, Blackpool South MP Scott Benton said: “The licence fee is a decade out of date, a regressive tax which people shouldn’t have to pay simply to watch TV.
“I’ve long called for it to be scrapped. This self-inflicted chaos and their obvious unwillingness to enforce impartiality will only strengthen calls for the fee to go.”
So what do YOU think? Should the BBC licence fee be scrapped? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.