TV license fees frozen for two years – here’s how much you’ll need to pay

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries says your license fee will stand at £159 for two years (Image: Getty)

The government has confirmed that BBC royalties will be frozen for two years.

It means the BBC’s budget will fall in real terms, as UK inflation is expected to hit a 30-year high of 6% or more in April.

Culture Minister Nadine Dorries said the deal ‘gives certainty to broadcasters while also protecting the public from price hikes’.

Households will need to pay £159 per year until April 2024, when the fee will rise with inflation over four years.

The company currently collects around £3.7 billion a year from licensing fees, which fund a range of services from news to nature shows and serious Dancing.

It includes TV, radio, BBC websites, podcasts, iPlayer, educational content for kids, as well as other apps.

Ms Dorries said to have called the BBC a ‘great institution’ and noted it had a ‘unique place in our cultural heritage’, but added: ‘The global cost of living is rising. and this Government is committed to supporting families as much as possible during this difficult time.

‘When it comes to monthly bills, this is one of the few direct leverage we have in our control as government.’

Labor front benches could be heard shouting ‘tax’ before Ms Dorries added: ‘We simply cannot justify putting more pressure on the wallets of hard-working households. .

‘Every institution worldwide is facing the challenge of inflation. I simply don’t believe that the people responsible for setting the household bills should instinctively reach the pockets of families across the country each year for just a little more to cover their expenses. ‘

Yesterday, Miss Dorries said this notice about the BBC’s royalty fees ‘will be the last’.

She wrote on Twitter: ‘Gone are the days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors.

‘Now is the time to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great UK content. “

For twenty years through 2020, retirees will have to pay no licensing fees and government costs.

But the Conservatives announced in 2015 that they would scrap this.

The BBC later said it could not bear the cost and had to ask people over 75 to pay a license fee, unless they received a vehicle-checked retirement credit.

Following today’s announcement, BBC President Richard Sharp and Director General Tim Davie issued a joint statement saying: ‘Given the wide range of services we offer, the License Fee represents excellent value for money. There are good reasons to invest in what the BBC can do for the UK and UK public around the world.

‘The freeze for the first two years of this deal means the BBC will now have to absorb inflation.

‘That’s disappointing – not only for those paying the License Fee, but also for the cultural industries that depend on the BBC for the vital work they do across the UK.

‘BBC earnings for UK services are already 30% lower in real terms than they were 10 years ago. We will cover the effects of the settlement later, before the end of the financial year, but it will require tougher choices, which will affect License Fee payers.

‘While there will be challenges, we have the financial stability of the License Fee, which is very important. We have the certainty of a six-year deal on BBC funding: two years on cash and four years on inflation.

‘We have great confidence in the BBC and its future. We will do everything we can to ensure the BBC continues to carry its weight around Britain and audiences around the world. We will continue to drive an ambitious reform agenda, moving more of our output across the UK, moving our organization into a digital future and delivering differentiated and equitable content. . We have a team of unique talent at BBC who are focused on making this available to the masses.

‘We positively look forward to the next Charter national debate and, of course, all options need to be considered. The BBC is owned by the public and their voice should always be the loudest when it comes to determining the future of the BBC. ‘

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Charles Jones

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