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Should the BBC license be mandatory?
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The license fee disproportionately affects poor households

The BBC television license is a regressive tax on poor households.


Administering a license fee at a flat rate of £154.50 per year makes it a larger burden on poorer households.

The Argument

A flat license fee is a regressive tax, meaning it disproportionately affects poor households. For a wealthy household, £154.50 is loose change, but for poor households, it makes up a sizeable amount of the monthly outgoings. To make the license fairer, it could be administered progressively. It could be tied to the annual household income and see poorer households pay less while wealthier households pay more.

Counter arguments

This isn’t an argument against the fee being mandatory. It is merely an argument against the fees structure. It would be easy to build a more progressive fee system that is more fairly administered that is still mandatory.



[P1] The license fee is regressive and disproportionately impacts poor households. [P2] Regressive taxes and fees are unjust. [P3] Therefore, the license should not be mandatory.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] This is not an argument against a mandatory license fee.


This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 09:38 UTC

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