Monday 10 March 2014 1:30 am

BBC calls for an inflation link to its licence fee

THE BBC is calling for its licence fee to be linked to inflation as the corporation considers the template for its future funding. A review led by John Tate, the BBC’s former head of strategy, looked at how it could be funded in 2020 – three years after the next round of funding talks with government. “The report recommends that the BBC pursue an inflationary licence fee increase with greater commercial revenue. No subscription model is recommended,” the BBC stated yesterday, following weekend newspaper reports that it was considering replacing the licence fee with a subscription service. According to the review, the BBC’s options could include leaving the fee at its current frozen price of £145.50, which would mean closure of some services; linking the fee to inflation and better using its commercial assets; or mutualising the service, with members given civil rather than criminal penalties for non-payment. The suggestions come as the BBC faces a funding squeeze. The director general Tony Hall recently announced that BBC3 was to become available online only to help save £100m. He also said he could not guarantee the survival of BBC4.