The UK Musicians’ Union (MU) has expressed its concern at Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nicky Morgan’s confirmation that the government is considering the removal of the BBC licence fee when the broadcaster’s current charter period ends in 2027.
Morgan has confirmed the future of the licence fee is on the table in future negotiations and has stated that it is important to be ‘open-minded’ about what might happen from 2027 onwards.
The MU is also concerned about the possible threat of a £200m funding cut to the BBC, should the levels of licence fee evasion rise following the proposed decriminalisation of non-payment.
Horace Trubridge, MU General Secretary, said:
‘For many years the BBC has been largest employer of musicians in the UK and remains home to five of our highly-respected and world-famous orchestras. In addition, our composer members are regularly commissioned to provide the soundtrack to numerous films, documentaries and programmes.
‘Any threat to the financial stability of the BBC is a threat to the livelihood of so many of our members. We will always be concerned about any government policy which may lead to a cut in the employment and commissioning of British musicians.’
Header image: BBC Ten Pieces helps classroom teachers and ensemble leaders open up the world of classical music to 7-14 year olds.