TaxPayers' Alliance calls for BBC licence fee scrapping and Channel 4 sale

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has called for the BBC’s license fees to be abolished and for state channel 4 to be sold – just days before the Chancellor presents this year’s budget.

The campaign group has also recommended selling most of the BBC and reducing the rest of the business to a television channel, radio station and online service.

According to the group’s plan, these are to be financed by a small government grant and only broadcast current events and cultural programs that are considered “in the public interest”.

Since Channel 4 is owned by the government, it gets funding from advertising, not taxpayers.

The TPA has claimed it “seems unnecessary” to have two public broadcasters and has stated that neither Channel 4 nor the BBC in their current form fit into the broadcasting market of the 21st century.

The group called for Channel 4 to be listed on the stock exchange, saying it would “end the need for taxpayers to act as the ultimate guarantor of the company” and “ensure a wider range of potential owners than a direct sale to another company”. “.

The government has discussed plans to privatize Channel 4, which could be sold to a private buyer in the future.

“In the age of streaming, it’s ridiculous that we have two state broadcasters,” said John O’Connell, CEO of TPA.

“The Chancellor should use the upcoming budget to free these media giants from taxpayers and to let them stand on their own two feet.

“Not only do the public and taxpayers benefit from this, but also the broadcasters themselves.”

The group said their proposed changes to the BBC and Channel 4 “would generate billions in revenue that can be used to cut taxes and enable them to compete more effectively with streaming services while increasing public service performance.” to maintain “.

The study says selling BBC shares for £ 2 billion would allow the government to increase the standard tax-free personal allowance by £ 300.

The TPA launched its “Ax the Tax” campaign in 2020, although the license fee model is guaranteed for a further six years.

The system has received widespread criticism for abolishing free TV licenses for all over 75s. Now the only thing left is those who receive a retirement credit not having to pay the annual sum of £ 159 a year.

A BBC statement said: “The BBC has had a Royal Charter in place for a number of years, which defines the scope and scope of its activities.”

A Channel 4 spokesman said, “Channel 4 doesn’t cost taxpayers a cent. Commercially funded since its inception, we’ve invested £ 12 billion in the UK’s creative industries and developed programs that entertain, challenge and excite for every platform.

“Over 20 million people watched the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics on Channel 4’s channels and digital services. All 4 viewers have exceeded a billion views this year alone, and partnerships with companies like Tik Tok and Snap ensure our audiences are everywhere can get in touch with Channel 4 and have a look at our content. “

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