BBC licence fee 'will be FROZEN for 2 years to tackle cost of living' after talks between Number 10 and broadcasterNovember 7, 2021
THE BBC licence fee is set to be frozen for up to two years in a bid to curb the cost of living crisis, it's reported.
After crunch talks between Number 10 and the broadcaster, it is expected that the fee will remain at £159 until around 2024 to help those feeling the pinch thanks to rising domestic bills.
Insiders have told The Telegraph that after negotiations on the cost of the licence fee between 2022 until at least 2027, it is likely to stay at its current price for the initial part of that period.
It's reported a one or two year freeze is the most likely outcome from talks – but no decision has been formally made yet.
One said told the outlet: "The sense is it has to be firm but fair."
Another added: "Now is not the time to be whacking up the amount households have to pay."
This year, the fee went up from £157.50 to £159 and talks are ongoing to determine how much it will cost in the future.
The Government is said to be hesitant about raising the fee amid skyrocketing household bills.
Each year, the BBC takes around £3.2 billion from the licence fee.
It comes after it was reported the fee will go up by less than the rate of inflation over the next five years.
Ministers rejected a demand by BBC bosses to increase the fee in line with inflation, as has happened in recent years, despite them warning it could lead to significant cuts in “quality” output.
The expected freeze comes with households still facing the cost of living squeeze, with energy prices continuing to soar and other household bills are expected to increase as inflation is predicted to hit five per cent by next April.
Inflation – the measure of the cost of living such as your food, travel, clothes and energy bills – has been rising in recent months.
It is currently at 3.1 per cent, which is above the Bank of England's target of two per cent.
The energy supply crisis is one of the main factors pushing up household bills.
Small suppliers have collapsed as wholesale gas prices hit record highs, leaving customers with higher bills and less choice.
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