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BBC TV licence fee to increase to £145 from 1 April

The cost of the BBC licence fee will increase by 2 per cent to £145.50 from 1 April. This year's rise from £142.50 for the colour licence is part of a six-year BBC funding settlement agreed in 2007.

The increase was set at 3 per cent for the first two years of the settlement and 2 per cent in years three, four and five - with 2010 being year four.

The rise, which is not being contested by the Conservatives and also sees the black and white licence go from £48 to £49, was brought into effect by an order laid down in the House of Commons today.

The increase comes as the BBC confirmed last week that it was proposing to axe radio stations 6 Music and the Asian Network and slash spending on its website.

Union leaders have said the move threatened up to 600 jobs and warned of strikes to fight any compulsory redundancies.

The BBC has outlined plans to divert nearly £600 million a year to higher quality content in its drive to become "more disciplined and sharply-focused".

In its wide-ranging strategy review to the BBC Trust published, the corporation said the BBC is on course to hit £2 billion in savings by the end of this licence fee period in 2012/13.

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