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Govt set to block BBC licence fee increase

December 4, 2023

UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has suggested that the government is to block an expected 9 per cent licence fee increase set out in a funding agreement struck by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The fee is supposed to rise in line with inflation from April 2024, and in the three years after that.

Speaking on the BBC’s Breakfast News, Frazer said: “As it rises, the BBC needs to be realistic about how much it can rise by,” adding that the government would be making an announcement on the matter “very shortly”.

The rise, if in line with inflation, would be by around £15 (€17.50) to £173.30, but Frazer said she was concerned this would be “high” given the cost of living crisis.

Separately, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters on the way back from the Cop28 climate summit that the BBC “should be realistic about what it can expect people to pay at a time like this”.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The government and BBC agreed a six-year licence fee settlement in January 2022, which froze the licence fee for two years with increases in line with inflation from 2024. As is usual practice the Government sets and confirms the cost of a licence each year and this remains unconfirmed for 2024/25. The BBC will continue to focus on what it does best: working to deliver world-class content and providing great value for all audiences.”

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