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Culture Secretary Sajid Javid does not rule out scrapping BBC licence fee

By William Turvill

Sajid Javid has said “I don't think anything should be ruled out and nothing should be ruled in” ahead of the BBC Royal Charter renewal.

Javid (pictured, Reuters), who replaced Maria Miller as Culture Secretary in April, told the Andrew Marr Show that the “big technological change” over the current ten-year charter will need to be taken into account ahead of any potential changes.

He said that the £145.50 per household per year licence fee, which the Conservative Government froze when it came into power in 2010,  is a “large amount of money for many families up and down the country”.

Javid added: “This needs to be looked at when we have the charter review process.”

Earlier this month, shadow culture secretary and deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman said in an interview that the licence fee should be considered in case a better alternative exists.

She told Total Politics: "The licence fee is a means to an end, it's not an end to itself. If there's a better way to have… a measure of independence from government in terms of the finance, if there's a better way of doing that, let's hear about it.

"We haven't found it in the past; we might do in the future. Let's see. It's not easy to see what would be better than the licence fee but that doesn't mean it actually shouldn't be looked at.

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"What we are absolutely not up for is a kind of ideological attack on the BBC because it is a public sector broadcaster."

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