'Axe the Tax' campaign to scrap the BBC licence fee


We’ve railed against wasteful spending at the BBC throughout our 16 year history. We’ve also challenged the organisation on its establishment outlook, that usually ignores typical taxpayers and tends towards an ever-bigger state. 

Lots of people are open to the idea of a much smaller state-funded BBC, adhering to past principles of high culture and serious news. But that’s not what the BBC is - and hasn’t been for sometime. It competes in the commercial market using taxpayers’ money; it has helped kill off local media outlets with its dominant regional stations; and it wastes cash chasing a youth audience it has no hope of catching. It has lost the confidence of taxpayers. 

The licence fee is not fit for the 21st century. With drastic technological change and the myriad ways in which people watch the media, the current model looks increasingly outdated. Last year, the number of licences sold fell for the first time, with 37,000 fewer households buying one than the previous year. Little wonder, when consumer habits are changing - and quickly.

So in January 2020, we launched our Axe the Tax campaign to scrap the BBC licence fee. It’s time taxpayers’ stop being forced to support the BBC!

The licence fee is guaranteed until 2027. Winning this battle won’t happen overnight. We have to start making the case now for changes, calling out the BBC and Channel 4 models and empowering politicians and commentators to take a stand. Everything from preparing Channel 4 for commercial ownership to decriminalising the licence fee is up for grabs, and the fight to win these battles has to start now.


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Recent blog posts:

Public service broadcasting - How BBC broadcasters should service the public

It seems a political age has passed since February, when Downing street figures told The Times that the BBC licence fee was set to be scrapped. But even though other seismic events have understandably dominated media and political attention in recent months, the battle over the future of the television tax - and with that inevitably, the future of public service broadcasting - is not one that can or should be set aside.


The BBC is stuck in 1986

“What’s the BBC ever given us for 58 quid!?” mused a bewildered-looking John Cleese...


Channel 4 should be up for sale

Why is Channel 4 still taxpayer-owned in 2020?


Radio Ga Ga: Has the BBC had its time?

The BBC is mismanaging licence fee funding which amounts to around £4 billion per year.


Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

A former Pepsi exec is about to become one of the most influential people in Britain.


The BBC needs to be accountable to taxpayers

We expect the government and local councils to be accountable - why not the state broadcaster?  


The BBC's broadband tax proposal

A broadband tax would be a poor solution to the fundamental problem that the BBC model of public service broadcasting is not fit for the 21st century.


A time to make you appreciate televised sport, with or without the BBC

The sporting freeze makes us appreciative of just how much sport we can watch these days. Don't forget that it is the rise of competitive consumer power which has opened it up. The BBC, paid for by sporting fans and phobes alike, not need be involved.


The future of the BBC licence fee

Mark Wallace in conversation with Sir Robbie Gibb


Consultation on decriminalising TV licence evasion

In February 2020 the government launched a consultation on decriminalising TV licence evasion. Read the TaxPayers' Alliance submission in full.


Bringing the BBC into the 21st Century

When pondering the wonders of the small box with moving pictures, it is always worth remembering that everyone has to pay an annual tax for the privilege.


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