Julia Hartley-Brewer’s attempt to criticise the BBC licence fee spectacularly backfires

Julia Hartley-Brewer’s attempt to criticise the BBC licence fee spectacularly backfires

Julia Hartley-Brewer’s criticism of licence that funds the BBC has backfired spectacularly as people on Twitter have defended the fee by destroying her argument in a number of different ways.

The debate surrounding the BBC licence fee has arisen once again after the government announced a two-year freeze in the broadcaster’s funding, with plans to abolish the licence fee completely in 2027.

Culture secretary, Nadine Dorries said: “This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over. Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.”

While BBC stars, Gary Lineker, Nish Kumar, Armando Iannucci, Michael Rosen, and Deborah Meaden have defended the broadcaster, talkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer appears to have questioned whether the licence fee is good value for money.

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In a tweet, she wrote: “I pay the BBC licence fee and these are the only services I ever use. Good value for money...?”

The tweet also includes an image of a table that has all the different BBC services and programmes, where all of them are crossed out except the services Hartley-Brewer says she uses, which are: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC News, BBC Parliament, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5.

But many were quick to point out how Hartley-Brewer’s argument fails when you apply it to different contexts.

While we pay a monthly fee for the internet, it would be pretty difficult to use/access every single part of the internet yet we still believe we get good value for money.

Someone else applied this logic to our council tax, things would be a little different if we used Hartley-Brewer’s logic...

As others also pointed out the flaw in only paying for what we use.

As comedian Rosie Jones joked, does this mean we’ve been wasting our money on confectionary if we only eat our favourites from a box of chocolates?

How about when we use other facilities such as a swimming pool?

Meanwhile, someone else was able to provide the perfect analogy of a bus service to explain why the BBC is beneficial for us all, even if we don’t watch every single program.

When breaking down the cost of the £159 licence fee, it equates to the bargain price of just 43p per day to access all of these services as plenty of people have highlighted in this debate.

One person also noted we’re not just paying the fee for ourselves, but also for the benefit of others so we all win.

When applying this argument to getting the money’s worth out of a festival ticket - it would certainly make for an intense experience.

While others pointed out that Hartley-Brewer has benefitted from the BBC since she has appeared as a guest on BBC One’s Question Time - and the fact that her profile picture is actually from one of her appearances on the programme.

Some noted how people choose to pay for a Netflix subscription but due to its never-ending catalogue, people wouldn’t be getting their money’s worth if Hartley-Brewer’s argument was applied here.

Something tells us this BBC licence debate is going away anytime soon.

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