UK government weighs passing £500m licence fee cost to BBC

The UK’s coalition government is considering passing the annual £556m (€400m) bill for subsidising the BBC licence fee for the elderly on to the corporation itself.

The amount currently comes out of the government’s tax coffers, but it is now understood to be considering passing on the cost to the BBC itself as part of a wider spending review, which is currently underway. The cost to the BBC would be significant if the plan is implemented. It receives £3.6bn a year in license fee income from the £145.50 annual license fee, which is levied on all TV homes. The exemption for the over 75s was introduced by the previous Labour government.