Introduced in 1923, more than 25 million UK TV owners pay the annual license fee that fund the BBC’s television and radio operations. Non-payment is considered a criminal offence and can result in a hefty fine. As other European nations move away from mandatory license fees, should the UK government follow suit?
The BBC license fee surmounts to a regressive tax that disproportionately affects poor households, for a service that not everyone makes use of.
Linear TV is dead
The mandatory license is modelled on a user model that is outdated.Explore
The BBC Trust cannot be trusted
The BBC Trust, which receives the license fees, has proven it cannot be trusted with the responsibility.Explore
The license fee disproportionately affects poor households
The BBC television license is a regressive tax on poor households.Explore
The TV license is unpopular
The public does not like the mandatory license fee that goes to the BBC.Explore
The mandatory license stifles innovation
Market failures drive innovation. The BBC is protected from market failures by a mandatory license.Explore
The BBC doesn’t account for the majority of TV
The BBC is no longer the main provider of television content.Explore
The license fee is impossible to enforce
A mandatory fee is only useful if everybody actually pays it. There is no legal and practical way to enforce the license fee, so it’s up to choice whether people pay it or not. Therefore, it's pointless to make a license fee mandatory.Explore
Yes, the BBC license should be mandatory
The BBC provides a non-excludable service of public good and could only function in its current form through a mandatory license fee.
BBC News is an essential public service.
We pay for the police and fire brigade; like them, a national news service is an essential service.Explore
The BBC World Service serves the national interest
The World Service presents Britain's face to the world, and is a major tool of the UK's Soft Power.Explore
A mandatory license fee supports minority tastes
Without a mandatory license fee, the BBC would be unable to produce programs that appeal to niche interests and ethnic and religious minorities.Explore
The BBC provides a service for the public good
The BBC provides a unique service that can be consumed by everyone equally.Explore
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020 at 19:42 UTC