BBC boss Tony Hall says licence fee has 10 more years left

Charlotte Henry
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Tony Hall: Licence fee has a decade (Source: Getty)

BBC boss Lord Hall has fired his opening salvo in what is likely to be a tense debate over the future of the BBC.

The BBC's director general said that he agreed with the argument put forward by the culture, media and sport select committee in the last parliament that the licence fee would be around for the next decade. "I’ll go along with the argument that it’s got 10 years life in it," he told presenter Andrew Marr on Sunday.

There has been much speculation about the future of the BBC and the licence fee since John Whittingdale, who chaired the culture, media, and sport select committee, took over that portfolio in David Cameron's cabinet. He has previously called the licence fee "regressive".

Hall also said that the committee's proposal for a household levy to fund the BBC was "interesting". He said:

I put forward the notion that actually we should amend the licence fee in some ways to reflect the fact that actually people are watching and using the BBC services but not live.

There have also been calls from within the Conservatives to decriminalise not paying the licence fee, which Lord Hall said would cost about £200,000.

The BBC's charter, which govern's the public broadcaster, is coming up for renewal shortly.

The director general also said that he was going to cut down on the salaries that middle and senior managers at the BBC receive. “I’ve been working on that for a couple of years,” he pointed out.
“I’ve been working out how we can get a simpler, more straightforward, easier BBC,” he added, hinting at job cuts to come.
Efficiencies in the corporation are expected to be made public in the coming weeks, with the number of managers likely to fall.

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