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Scrap BBC TV licence fee, says Adam Smith institute

The free market think tank suggests that the BBC licence fee be replaced with a voluntary subscripti

A report from the UK-based Adam Smith Institute has suggested that the BBC should give up its TV licence fee and operate as a voluntary subscription-based service.

The policy institute report - titled Global Player or Subsidy Junkie? Decision Time for the BBC - was documented by David Graham, a former BBC producer who worked on Nationwide, The Money Programme and Panorama.

It said "continued commitment to subsidy via the licence fee will mean scaling back the BBC and diminishing its potential contribution". The report suggested that a voluntary BBC subscription would better equip the corporation to operate as a major business globally.

Graham argued that such a service "would free the broadcaster from competitors' hostility and would harness its huge reputation and high-calibre staff to new, ambitious objectives."

He added that the £144.50 fee "discriminates" against "genuinely free" channels and its abolition would encourage the BBC to aim for creating a bigger presence for itself and other UK players in the global media industry.