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TV Licence Fee may be Abolished in UK & NI
15 Jun 2017 : Katie McNeice
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has described the fee as regressive in its election manifesto which was published in May.

It proposes the freeze and eventual cut or abolishment of the fee altogether.

The TV licence fee costs £147 per household in the UK and Northern Ireland, which is just under the same price as an Irish licence, at €160 per annum.

Arlene Foster, Northern Irish Unionist Party:
“The TV licence fee is a highly regressive tax which was designed for a different era and a world of communication that no longer exists. The success of Netflix and Amazon streaming services shows that subscription-based media can and does work.”

The call to change the current status of the TV licence has been met with resistance from Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tom Watson, who is urging Tories to stop any agreements on the issue between the Conservative Party and the DUP. He voiced his concerns in a letter to Culture Secretary and Conservative Party member Karen Bradley.

Tom Watson:
“I note that there were no commitments in your own party’s manifesto to supporting the BBC (other than the World Service) or to retaining the TV licence (other than keeping it free for over 75s), so you would be in a position to give the DUP what they are asking for without breaching your own manifesto. Don’t Do This.”

Further resistance has come from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Séamus Dooley, General Secretary, NUJ:
“The future of public service broadcasting cannot be put at risk for the sake of political expediency...The prime minister must give a clear and unambiguous commitment that she will not allow the DUP to dictate, directly or indirectly, public policy on the future of the BBC or overall policy on public service broadcasting.’




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