Should the British continue to pay BBC licence fee?
The new British government wants to push ahead with plans to reform the BBC. One idea is to stop prosecuting those who do not pay TV licence fees. Critics accuse Johnson of wanting to weaken the BBC for political reasons and argue that licence fees are still justified. Others say the reform is long overdue.
Compulsory licence has had its day
The BBC should have lost its special status long ago, The Sun comments, welcoming the reform plans:
“The TV licence has less and less public support and the BBC only has itself to blame. So the new Government consultation over decriminalising non-payment is long overdue. A compulsory tax made sense in 1946. Punishing non-payers nowadays is absurd. ... Fundamentally it's a dinosaur in the Netflix era and irrelevant to many, especially young people raised on YouTube. The Government must be bold. We need a much slimmer BBC to survive and focus on quality TV and radio. But the licence has had its day.”
Good TV has its price
A mandatory licence fee for the BBC is still justified, The Guardian is sure:
“True, viewers in the UK are going more digital, and research last October from the regulator Ofcom found that children in their early teens more readily recognise YouTube and Netflix than the BBC. But the job of a government that recognises the BBC's value is to find ways to keep it financially sustainable. ... Pretending Netflix is the future and the BBC the past is flat wrong: in order to grab millions of subscribers, Netflix has amassed billions in debt. Baroness Morgan should rethink her stance: universal services need universal funding. The alternatives are either cutting programmes or losing viewers.”