“A PURE rip off” and “about bloody time” are just some of the responses from North East readers after it was announced the BBC TV licence fee was set to be scrapped in five years with funding to the broadcaster frozen for the next two years.

The annual payment, which normally changes on April 1 each year, is expected to be kept at the current rate of £159 until April 2024, with additional ways of funding being considered by Nadine Dorries.

Read more: BBC TV licence fee 'to be scrapped' in 2027 as government consider new funding

The announcement came as part of Operation Red Meat, which saw ministers set out a flurry of policies designed to revive Boris Johnson’s fortunes as he faces continuing anger over “partygate” allegations.

Putting the BBC on notice that the licence fee could be replaced after the current deal ends in 2027 was just one of the policies put forward.

Reaction from our readers on Facebook have suggested the date can’t come soon enough with one person commenting: “2027? Why not now it’s a pure rip off?”

Another person said it was “about bloody time.” And others revealed that the licence fee was “a joke.”

One Facebook commenter said: “I paid £160 for this year's TV licence and I have never watched the BBC in over 3 years.

“Netflix, Sky and other movies you can get on the internet so why do I need the BBC, not to mention they're so biased it's unreal scrap it.” 

Another person commented: “Lots of the stuff on pay per view is made by then sold by the BBC.

“I can see both sides of the argument but to me- and crucially- it’s the first of several populist announcements to unjustifiably rescue the PM.

 “Be careful what you wish for. Pay per view/ cable/ satellite are all capable of being taken over by control freaks like Murdoch and it is vital to have an independent broadcaster beholden to nobody and (as is the BBC) being the most respected broadcaster in the world for truth.

Read more: MP calls for BBC licence fee refunds in Parliament after Bilsdale TV mast fire

“An incredibly slippery slope. Unless you still cling to a strange view that this government has YOUR best interests at heart.”

However, someone else commented: “Brilliant news. Time to scrap this unfair tax. I never watch the BBC so why should I be forced to pay for it. I watch Netflix which I pay for, those who never watch Netflix should not be forced to pay for it.”

Someone else also pointed out that, to some, it has been seen as a diversion tactic, they said: “No. Because it's an attempt to draw attention away from Johnson and is unlikely to ever happen anyway. Bluster from Dorries to try and help her glorious leader.”

Some believe it should be subscription-based only, or the payments reduced to “a sensible level.”

One person said: “It should be subscription only. Every other platform has it in one way or another so why should we be obliged to pay.”

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Another person commented: “It should be reduced to a sensible level - start by making cuts to the silly levels of pay to 'stars' - quite what football pundits do to be paid over a million pounds a year is beyond me."


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