TV licence fee frozen for year
The TV licence fee is to be frozen for at least a year due to the economic pressures on viewers.
And the BBC Trust has proposed keeping the cost at its present £145.50 for a further 12 months, until March 2013.
The Government, which agreed on Thursday to the freeze for the coming financial year, said it would make no decision on capping the fee for a second year until a later date.
BBC Trust proposals would mean a £144 million budget cut, which chairman Sir Michael Lyons warned would not be "pain-free".
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt welcomed the first year's freeze, but said a decision about the second year would be taken in the future "as part of the next funding settlement".
The proposal by the trust was in response to the "exceptional pressures" of the economic climate, it said.
The BBC had been entitled to increase the fee by 2% in the next financial year and up to 2% for the following 12 months, but the trust also keeps the BBC's financial needs under review to ensure spending is appropriate.
In June it asked the corporation's executive board to examine budgets in June to look into short-term savings. The cost-cutting will require "on-air changes", but the trust concluded that savings could be made while minimising impact. Work is now being undertaken to work out the fine-tuning of savings.
Mr Hunt was informed of the proposals in a letter from Sir Michael, who announced just two days earlier he was stepping down from his position early next year after just one term in office.
Sir Michael warned that the cuts would not be "pain-free", saying: "The trust remains committed to the principle of ring-fenced multi-year licence fee settlements. It is a key part of the BBC's independence that the Government grants such settlements and does not re-open them before they come to an end. However, we also recognise that the British public is facing an exceptionally tough financial climate."