BBC TV licence fee 'to rise by more than £10' as Sunak warns it to 'be realistic' about charge in cost of living crisis

7 December 2023, 05:26 | Updated: 7 December 2023, 06:06

The licence fee is due to go up by more than £10
The licence fee is due to go up by more than £10. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Brits will need to fork out more than a tenner extra on their TV licence fee - despite the BBC failing to get the full rise it wanted.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The controversial charge will go up by more than £10 as Rishi Sunak told MPs the corporation needed to be "realistic" in the cost of living crisis.

The BBC had wanted to add almost £15 to the £159 fee but ministers argued it should only rise in line with the 6.7% inflation rate recorded in September.

A BBC source told The Sun: "We know many households are hard-pressed, which is why the licence fee has been frozen for a couple of years.

"But we would argue we offer great value for money with shows and content loved by millions."

Read more: Sunak says licence fee may not rise with inflation as he urges more cuts must be made

The corporation has lost 500,000 licence fee payers as it blames competition from the likes of Netflix.

That has led to a drop from £3.8bn in funding to £3.74bn.

And most recently it has provoked contempt after refusing to brand Hamas as terrorists after its gunmen rampaged over southern Israel, massacring innocent people and kidnapping hundreds.

Mr Sunak had argued the BBC needed to "be realistic" about what viewers are prepared to pay as their wallets were squeezed by inflation.

"The BBC, like any other organisation that serves the public, should be looking to do that and cut its cloth appropriately," he said previously.

"I think going forward... the BBC should be realistic about what it can expect people to pay at a time like this.

"That, I think is the right approach."

Meanwhile, the government has announced its preference for a new chairman, the veteran TV boss Dr Samir Shah.

The last chairman, Richard Sharp, quit after he failed to declare his connection to an £800,000 loan made to Boris Johnson.