HC Deb 03 April 1963 vol 675 c460

I have decided to abolish the £1 Television Licence Excise Duty, which was imposed in 1957—though, as I shall explain, this will not affect the cost to the viewer. The B.B.C. now faces a steep rise in the cost of its home services—principally for the provision of its second television service. This can, as a result of abolishing the duty, be met without an increase in the cost of the television licence to the viewer in the immediate future, which would otherwise be inevitable.

The abolition will be effective from 1st October next. The cost in the present financial year will be £7¾ million, and in a full year approximately £13 million. The viewer will then pay a £4 licence fee instead of £3, plus £1 duty, as at present.

The change in the basic licence fee—though, I repeat, no change in the amount actually paid by the viewer—will require new regulations under the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1949, and these my right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General will be laying in due course. Since the proceeds of licence revenue are paid to the B.B.C. through the Broadcasting Vote, a Supplementary Estimate for that Vote will be presented in due course.

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