The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell, today announced the television licence fee increases effective from 1 April 2004. A colour licence will cost Ł121.00 and a black and white licence will cost Ł40.50.
The rate of increase is set according to the formula announced by the Government in February 2000, following a report on the future funding of the BBC by an independent review panel.
Tessa Jowell announced the changes today in a written statement to the House of Commons. She said:“The television licence fee settlement announced by the Government in February 2000 provides for changes in the licence fee of RPI plus 1.5 per cent for each year from 2000-2001 to 2006-2007. This settlement is designed to enable the BBC to provide a strong and distinctive schedule of high quality programmes and remain at the forefront of broadcasting technology. The settlement includes a requirement for the Corporation to raise around Ł1.1 billion through efficiency savings and increased income over the same period.
Application of the RPI figure of 2.8% for the year to September 2003, plus 1.5%, to the current unrounded licence fees produces new rounded totals of Ł121.00 for a colour licence and Ł40.50 for a black and white licence. The necessary regulations to bring these fees into force will be laid before the House in due course. The changes will come into effect from the 1 April next year.”
Notes to Editors
1 Under this formula licence fee increases for each year from 2000/01 to 2006/07 are set at the Retail Prices Index (RPI) level plus 1.5%. The increases are part of a package of measures introduced in response to the 1999 report by the independent review panel on the future funding of the BBC. They will enable the Corporation to respond to the challenges of quality broadcasting in the digital age while meeting demands for greater transparency, accountability and cost effectiveness.
Department for Culture, Media and Sport UK