Jeremy Corbyn sets out plans to tax tech giants to subsidise BBC license fee

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn will propose a shake-up of the way the TV licence fee is paid and set as he outlines a raft of suggestions for the BBC and wider media in a speech to the industry.

The Labour leader will deliver his Alternative MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival, on the fourth day of his visit to Scotland

Mr Corbyn will argue that the licence fee should be modernised for the digital age, with a "fairer and more effective way" found to fund the BBC.

He will float the idea of introducing a digital licence fee - paid by tech giants or through internet service providers - to supplement the current licence fee, with a view to reducing the cost for poorer households and helping the corporation to compete "more effectively".

He is expected to say: "The best journalism takes on the powerful, in the corporate world as well as government and helps create an informed public.

"This work costs money. We value it but somehow that does not translate into proper funding and legal support."

Mr Corbyn will also propose the creation of a new independent body to set the licence fee and suggest the BBC should be placed on a permanent statutory footing "to end government control through charter renewal".

He is also expected to outline his support for the BBC as a publicly owned, public service broadcaster, but argue it needs to become freer from government influence, more accountable to

The Edinburgh TV Festival runs until Friday August 24.