After the news that culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, is to freeze the BBC licence fee for the next two years with plans to scrap the funding model by 2027, the BBC Director-General Tim Davie and chairman Richard Sharp, have issued a statement.

“Given the breadth of services we provide, the Licence Fee represents excellent value for money.  There are very good reasons for investing in what the BBC can do for the British public and the UK around the world.  A freeze in the first two years of this settlement means the BBC will now have to absorb inflation.  That is disappointing – not just for Licence Fee payers, but also for the cultural industries who rely on the BBC for the important work they do across the UK.   The BBC’s income for UK services is already 30 percent lower in real terms than it was ten years ago.   We will set out the implications of the settlement later, before the end of the financial year, but it will necessitate tougher choices which will impact Licence Fee payers.

“While there will be challenges, we do have the financial stability of the Licence Fee, which is crucial. We have the certainty of a six year deal for the funding of the BBC: two years cash flat and four years keeping pace with inflation.

“We have great faith in the BBC and its future. We will do everything to ensure the BBC continues to punch above its weight for Britain and for audiences around the world.  We will continue to drive an ambitious programme of reform moving more of our output across the UK, transitioning the organisation to a digital future and delivering distinctive and impartial content.  We have a uniquely talented team of people at the BBC who are focussed on delivering this for the public.

“We actively look forward to the national debate on the next Charter and, of course, all options should be considered. The BBC is owned by the public and their voice must always be the loudest when it comes to determining the BBC’s future.”

Jon Creamer

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