Boris Johnson, mayor of London, has recently admitted that he no longer watches the news on television, and prefers to instead catch up with all the latest news via the internet. He also believes that the current TV licensing fee should be scrapped, as it has become ‘anachronistic’.
The debate on whether or not the TV licensing fee should be extended for another decade has both positive and negative arguments, but Johnson argues that the idea of taxing televisions is now outdated, and a large number of people are now watching television shows via the internet, either on their computers, tablets or their mobile phones. Technology has changed the way in which people watch TV shows, and taxes and licenses need to keep up with this.
These statements have followed reports from the BBC executives, which state that they are considering abandoning the television license fee, and will also be putting pressure onto the Corporation to encourage them to reduce prices for families that have TVs. He still believes that the BBC should be funded by some form of tax, as people are still watching the shows, just not as much on standard televisions. Public service broadcasting still needs to be funded by the taxpayer, and with the public strongly believing that they are supporting top quality British broadcasting, it is only fair that they contribute towards the cost of keeping this alive.
Boris Johnson also went on to criticise the way in which the BBC has been behaving, calling it ‘extremely anti-competitive’ and saying that they were forcing important regional newspapers out of business.