The Green Party wants everyone to pay for the BBC through taxes instead of TV licences.
The Culture, Media and Sport policy section of the Green Party’s website, sketched out plans for public service broadcasters – the BBC and S4C in Wales – to be funded through a non-regressive tax.
The current UK Government froze the Licence Fee for six years when it came to power in 2010, which means it’s effectively a regressive tax, as it’s value has declined in real terms. It’s unclear from both the Greens manifesto – released this week – and the party’s site, how this new tax would affect homeowners.
Five myths about the TV Licence bustedThe Green Party’s website says: “The existing licence fee will be abolished and in the first instance replaced by a guaranteed inflation linked payment from general taxation.”
In its manifesto, the Green Party rules out so-called ‘top slicing’ of BBC funds to pay for things like superfast broadband. The Coalition government has taken a total of £325 million from the licence fee pot to fund both the BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) and Local TV schemes.
The manifesto states: “[The Green Party will] maintain the BBC as the primary public service broadcaster, free of government interference with funding guaranteed in real terms in statutes to prevent government interference.”
The Tories have committed to a further Licence Fee freeze until the charter review at the end of this year and plans to skim a further £150 million of BBC money to extend its superfast broadband programme.
Earlier this year a committee of ministers headed by Conservative MP John Whittingdale recommended that the TV Licence be scrapped and replaced with a mandatory household tax.