The BBC relies on the licence fee

Bill to abolish the license fee reaches the Commons

Bill to abolish the license fee reaches the Commons

By staff

A private members bill calling for the abolition of the licence fee has reached the Commons, after a tortured birth process.

The bill, introduced by Conservative backbencher Christopher Chope, would abolish the requirement for a television licence fee, by repealing the part of the Communications Act 2003 that relates to licensing of TV reception.

The BBC is undergoing a period of unprecedented pressure as government proposals to top-slice the licence fee become more likely by the day.

The plan originally featured in Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report, which suggested passing on some of the funding to ITV regional news outlets.

But it failed to appear in Gordon Brown’s Building Britain’s Future document this week, leading to hopes among BBC staff the plans may not be appearing on the horizon for some time.

Today’s bill was on the order paper for a second reading debate on February 27th but there was not enough time for debate, leading to its appearance in the Commons today.