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    28 February, 2005

    Licence Fee needs protecting for the BBC

    Steve Hewlett gets it right on the BBC:

    Leaving aside the accountability issues that arise once the licence fee is separated from the BBC, people do not pay the licence fee to fund public service broadcasting, they pay it for the BBC.

    The licence fee should by rights be a very unpopular tax. It is regressive - everyone pays the same irrespective of income or wealth; it does not fund worthy causes like health, education, defence or security but the comparatively trivial medium of TV; and you can end up in prison if you do not pay it.

    Nevertheless, if not exactly popular, the licence fee is very widely tolerated. The only reason for this is the BBC.

    The Green Paper is due out on Wednesday, so the debate will begin in earnest once again.

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    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

    Author's editorial policy: This blog does not publish anonymous comments, unless they are really witty and I like them. If you have something to say, then have the courage of your convictions and use your name or an identifiable alias. Even then I reserve the right not to publish comments that are malicious, defamatory, stupid, pointlessly cynical or boring. Any of the statements or comments made above should be regarded as personal and not necessarily those of the National Assembly for Wales, any constituent part or connected body.