The newly appointed culture secretary wants the BBC licence fee to be “scrapped altogether.”

The BBC licence fee had previously been supported by Liz Truss new Culture Secretary. Since the BBC went after the elderly for payment, Michelle Donelan, Truss’s new Culture Secretary, has expressed her desire for the “unfair tax” to be eliminated entirely.

2019 saw anger as the BBC announced it would force elderly over 75’s to pay the licence fee that was once free. Instead, only those receiving Pension Credit would be eligible for a free licence. 

The modification violated a promise the broadcaster made to the government in 2016. 

In a 2019 article for her neighbourhood publication, Ms Donelan stated: “I was outraged by the BBC’s decision to revoke free TV licences for the over-75s.”

“Personally, I think the licence fee is an unfair tax and should be scrapped altogether – but that is a different debate.”

Major Brand Discounts

“The BBC have acted appallingly, and I am determined to do everything in my power to change their mind.”

She added: “The BBC are shirking their obligation to its older viewers, many of whom have been their most loyal viewers and have paid the full price for TV licences for years.”

A petition was started by the MP for Chippenham calling for the over-75s to no longer be required to pay a licence fee. Activists celebrated Ms Donelan’s appointment lastnight in the hopes that it would bring about change. 

Defund the BBC pressure group campaign director Rebecca Ryan said: “It’s great to hear the new culture secretary has called for the licence fee to be scrapped altogether.

“Let’s put an end to hard-working Britons being bullied on their doorsteps into funding a service that paints them as out-of-touch bigots by this wasteful, metropolitan elitist corporation.”

While running for the Tory leadership, Ms Truss committed to examine BBC reform. She said that she intended to examine decriminalising failure to pay the licence fee. Currently, failing to pay the £159 annual tax may result in a £1,000 fine or, in extreme cases, a jail term.

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