The BBC Trust has proposed to Government that the licence fee should be frozen at its current level of £145.50 (E173) for the remaining two years of the current settlement, through to March 2013. This would mean taking an estimated £144 million out of planned BBC budgets.
Outgoing BBC Trust chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, said: “The Trust remains committed to the principle of ring-fenced multi-year licence fee settlements. It is a key part of the BBC’s independence that the Government grants such settlements and does not re-open them before they come to an end.
“However, we also recognise that the British public is facing an exceptionally tough financial climate. In June, as part of the Trust’s role in ensuring value for money at the BBC, we asked the Executive to see if they could make further savings on top of the existing three per cent year-on-year efficiencies, so that the BBC does not ask licence fee payers to pay any more than they need to for BBC services.”