Tim Davie lauds BBC’s plan of forcing people to pay licence fee

BBC licence fee freeze will ‘affect’ output says Tim Davie

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Tim Davie has applauded BBC’s plan of forcing people to pay the licence fee. The director-general of the BBC claimed that it is “truly amazing” that the broadcaster is “pulling off” forcing households to pay the licence fee.

Mr Davie was speaking with staff on Tuesday when he said it was “glorious” that the BBC had “better budgets than some of the commercial operators” and did not “need to make a profit on everything”.

According to the Telegraph, he said: “It’s truly amazing what we’re pulling off by the way.

“That most households are pretty happy paying a licence being a forced payment.

“It’s amazing what we’re pulling off.”

Mr Davie’s comments come a week after Richard Sharp – the BBC chairman who has faced calls to resign over his friendship with Boris Johnson – branded the £159 annual licence fee “anachronistic”, pointing out that those prosecuted for non-payment are disproportionately female.

However, his comments did not go down well with a certain section who believed that the remarks shows the “arrogance” of the broadcaster.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory party leader told The Telegraph: “People don’t actually think the BBC gives them what they want.

“People are switching off. They are fed up getting spoon-fed this very central London, wokeish, apologetic view of their country.”

Peter Bone, the Tory MP for Wellingborough, added: “The comments seem to be from a parallel universe.

“My constituents hate being forced to pay a tax for a TV service that most of them don’t want.

“If the BBC is as good as he says it is, then surely he won’t mind it being a subscription service?”

The BBC’s future funding model is currently under review after a report by peers last year said the licence fee was “regressive” and should be replaced with a “viable alternative”, reported The Telegraph.

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Talking about the licence fee settlement – the agreement with the Government on how much BBC users can be charged – Mr Davie, 55, said: “We’ve got to be careful at the BBC in terms of our message to the outside world.

“People think we’re the cat with the cream at the moment and I know it doesn’t feel like that internally and I really am very sensitive about saying that.”

A BBC spokesman said: “Tim Davie has been speaking to teams across the BBC about the organisation’s strategy, alongside taking questions from staff. It’s not unusual for these topics – among many others – to be raised in internal discussions.

“In talking with BBC teams, Tim regularly discusses the privilege of having the licence fee; the continued need to deliver outstanding content and distinctive journalism; the challenging circumstances facing the media industry, including the BBC; and the fact that the BBC can take creative risks that are harder for others to do.

“The commercial media sector generally pays staff more than the BBC does, however many people work at the BBC because they believe in public service and have access to great opportunities.”

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