§ 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.