BBC 2017: Which of these 14 options is best to collect 4 billion quid a year?
How can the BBC be funded from 2017? How??? Photograph: Shutterstock
In the first part of this analysis, I am providing a decision grid to look at the possible funding methods for the BBC.
The scoring criteria are described below. I will return to each method in detail in the coming days.
As ever, I would love to know what you think!
How simple is the system to administer?
The score here relates to if the system proposed is easier or harder to provide than the one used by TV Licensing at the moment.
What is the total cost overhead?
A high score indicates that the money raised will go to programmes, rather than administration. A low values suggests higher admin costs than the TV Licence
How stable and predicable is the income from the system?
This relates to how reliable the income stream will be. The TV Licence is based on the number of UK households, a value that changes little. The score for this section relates to the predictability of income.
How many people pay something towards the system?
The current system has one payment per household. A higher score indicates the burden is shared out more evenly, a low value if it places a burden on fewer people.
How many people get to use the service?
The current system provides service to everyone who has a TV or a radio. The score here is lower if less people will be using the BBC.
How does the system increase the independence of the BBC from the state?
The TV Licence has some distance between the state that authorizes the collection of the fee and the use by the BBC to make programmes. A low score is given to systems where politicians could hold sway over the BBC.
How does the amount each person pays relate to their wealth?
The current system is based around households, not the wealth of the payer. The score here is higher when richer people contribute more and poorer people less.
How easy is it for the public to understand how they pay for the BBC?
The TV Licence system provides a reasonable linkage between payer and service. A high score here relates to the system proposed providing a more comprehensible link between payment and provision.
How do people opt out of the system if they don't wish to take part?
You can opt out of paying for the BBC is you select to not have a TV. The score here is low if the proposed system has no opt-out for those who oppose the service.
What happens to people who don not pay?
The current system has the backing of criminal sanction. The score here relates to the change in the officiousness of the non-payment punishment.