The former Brexit Party leader turned GB News primetime host has praised members of the French Parliament who voted this week to end their 80-year TV license fee. France’s National Assembly has backed President Emmanuel Macron’s bill that scraps the license fee that funds 85% of its TV channels, including France Télévisions, France 24, Arte and Radio France.
The move in Paris comes as the new Tory prime minister – either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak – will face huge pressure to scrap license fees in Britain too.
Tory MPs and campaigners have lobbied to end the tax on people with TVs, fearing the BBC has a leftist, anti-Brexit, woke bias and the funding model is outdated for the media market modern.
Following the decision of the French National Assembly, Mr Farage took to Twitter to congratulate them on the decision.
He said: “The French Parliament has voted to abolish the 80-year-old TV license fee. If only our people had the courage.
The new legislation was introduced by recently re-elected President Emmanuel Macron to deliver on his campaign promises which included several measures to “increase the purchasing power of French households”.
He saw the end of the outdated TV licensing model – a tax on households – as a way to help the cost of living crisis for low-income households.
In the UK, dozens of people, mostly women from disadvantaged families, have been sent to prison for failing to pay the BBC TV license which funds the seven- and six-figure salaries of millionaire celebrities like football presenter Gary Lineker.
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The French royalty, which was created decades ago to help finance French public radio and its new television channels.
It has been applied to every household with a TV and recently cost €138 (£116) a year less than the £159 extracted to found the BBC in Britain.
It brought in around £3 billion a year and funded most of the services of Radio France and France Télévisions (which includes five national channels and many other regional channels), as well as their programming schedules, commissioned content and workforce of approximately 110,000 people. .
The move prompted a strike by thousands of French broadcasters, but Macron and the French Assembly pushed ahead anyway.
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Efforts to end licensing fees in the UK have been led by campaign group Defund the BBC.
Rebecca Ryan, campaign manager for Defund the BBC, said: “This is one of the few occasions when Britain should follow France’s lead in scrapping TV license fees.
“The current government has constantly flirted with the idea of abolishing this outdated concept but has failed to fully commit.
“Both leadership candidates should show leadership on this issue and establish an iron guarantee that they will get rid of licensing fees if they become prime minister.”
However, members of the House of Lords are trying to force all British taxpayers to pay more for the BBC.
In a recent report, a Lords committee on the future of the license fee, which included former BBC chief executive Lord Hall and members who had been paid by the corporation, suggested that the license fee be replaced by a household tax, even if people didn’t. own a television.
But recently the influential Common Sense Group of right-wing Tory MPs published a policy book which called for license fees to be scrapped as a precursor to breaking up the BBC.