Licence Fee payers are to be spared an increase in 2011 after the BBC Trust announced it would not be seeking the 2% increase the Corporation “is entitled to” under the current Licence Fee settlement.
In a statement issued today, BBC Trust Chairman Sir Michael Lyons said the Trust “recognise that the British public is facing an exceptionally tough financial climate.”
Lyons, who this week announced he would be stepping down next year, added: “In June, as part of the Trust’s role in ensuring value for money at the BBC, we asked the Executive to see if they could make further savings on top of the existing three per cent year-on-year efficiencies, so that the BBC does not ask licence fee payers to pay any more than they need to for BBC services.”
The BBC claim the freeze will lead to “on-air changes” with Lyons suggesting it would “not be pain-free”.
Today’s announcement has been welcomed by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt who said had “made it clear that the BBC needs to take proper account of the current economic climate and this move, which comes with the Trust’s assurances that it will not significantly impact on the quality of services provided to licence fee payers, will be welcomed by the public.”
A statement issued by the Department for Culture Media and Sport said a decision on the level of the licence fee in April 2012 “will be taken as part of the new funding settlement discussions, which will begin next year.”
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