BBC raises licence fee
Joseph O'Halloran
| 23 February 2018

Tin hats at the ready for the ever under fire BBC as the UK Government has confirmed that as from 1 April 2018, the cost of the annual licence fee will increase to £150.50.

BBC funding has always been a hot potato and the corporation has found itself in the cross hairs of the Conservative Government since it took power in 2010 and embarked upon its much criticised austerity programme.

Despite the fact that setting the level of the licence fee is set by the UK Government, it is the BBC that is the traditional lightning rod for criticism. In anticipation of this, the BBC has lost no time in pointing out that it was indeed the UK Government who in 2016 announced that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from 1 April 2017 and that last year, the fee increased for the first time since 2010. In addition, it noted that for the licence fee, people receive nine national TV channels plus regional programming, ten national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and one of the UK’s most popular websites. Moreover, it pointed out that in 2017, 95% of the BBC’s controllable spend went on content for audiences and delivery, with just 5% spent on running the organisation.

The increase was calculated by Government using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation, measured as the average rate of CPI over the last 12 months to September which works out at 2.23%. The cost of an annual black and white licence will rise from £49.50 to £50.50.