Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Professor right over licence fee

I WAS sorry to learn of the death of the liberal, laissez-faire economist Professor Sir Alan Peacock, co-founder of the Edinburgh-based David Hume Institute.

A far-seeing man, he produced an eponymous report which recommended that the BBC should be funded not by a compulsory licence fee, but by voluntary subscription. The recommendations were never implemented.

Even as far back as 1986 – shortly after the Ulster Young Unionist Council passed a motion at its annual conference calling for the BBC to be regionalised and privatised – Alan Peacock recognised that the BBC was anachronistic.

The compulsory licence fee is rather like saying that if you want to read the Belfast Telegraph you must first buy the Irish Times.

CHRISTOPHER LUKE

Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent

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