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Boris urged ‘move quicker’ as UK looks set to scrap licence fee in MAJOR blow to BBC

BBC licence fee payers are 'fed up' of 'TV tax' says Friend

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Speaking to Express.co.uk, Tory MP Peter Bone said the taxpayer-funded broadcaster is “long overdue to be scrapped”. On January 16, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced a two-year licence fee freeze for the BBC, which amounts to a £2billion funding cut over the next 6 years. The fee will be kept at £159 until 2024.

Ms Dorries is also considering keeping further increases of the licence fee below the level of inflation from 2024 onwards.

The government has said that it is likely to replace the licence fee with a new funding model when the Royal Charter comes to an end on December 31 2027, in order to reflect the growing popularity of TV subscription services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

But Mr Bone, who introduced the Private Members Bill to scrap the licence fee in June 2021, urged the government to act sooner, telling Express.co.uk: “I’d like the government to move quicker.”

However, he said he is “very pleased the government is picking it up, saying that there won’t be a licence fee at the end of this charter period.”

He added: “They’ve certainly accepted the principle that there shouldn’t be a licence fee.”

The MP for Wellingborough hit out at the BBC for being “institutionally biased” and said that people shouldn’t be forced to pay for something that they don’t watch.

He explained: “I don’t want to pay a licence fee for something that I don’t agree with and I wouldn’t want to if I had the option to.

“Why in this day in age should we be forced to pay for a state broadcasting system?

“I don’t mind the BBC, but I don’t want to pay for it. I can subscribe to Sky and Netflix, but it’s my decision whether I do that.

“I can watch ITV or not. But if I watch them, and I decide to pay for them, then that’s fine.

“But why should I pay for something that I think is biased, and biased in a way that is unacceptable?”

Mr Bone said that he has been inundated with support for the proposals, saying: “I do lots of private members’ bills, but this one has had the biggest reaction, with tens of thousands of people actually liking the bill.

“And I actually put it out on Twitter, and I’ve not had a reaction like that to a private members bill in a long time.

“And I get people emailing in, but even when I’m knocking on doors people bring it up with me, and they say ‘keep up the campaign’.”

Sharing the changes to the BBC licence fee on Twitter after the government’s announcement, the Culture Secretary said: “This licence fee announcement will be the last.

“The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors, are over.

“Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.”

An ally of Nadine Dorries said the changes will mean “it’s over for the BBC as they know it”.

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