3 February 2020
The Government appears set on reducing the scale and scope of the BBC by dismantling the licence fee, and in its place pushing for subscription or making payment voluntary, without any evidence of the likely impact.
DTT – the UK’s largest TV platform – has no conditional access capability, and so implementation would require another costly and long-term switchover.
A voluntary licence fee would inevitably lead to a huge reduction in income. If just those on income-related benefits were not to pay, the shortfall would be over £500 million – in addition to the £250 million the BBC will be funding for over-75s receiving Pension Credit.