The BBC’s annual Licence Fee income could rise from £3.5bn to £4.3bn by 2016, according to Government estimates published in the Sunday Times and today’s Daily Mail.
The increase would come about as a result of inflation-linked Licence Fee increases and a projected increase in the number of households.
The Daily Mail quotes a “source close to” to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt who said that detailed negotiations with the BBC would not begin until next year on what the licence fee should be beyond 2013.
The source said: “I don’t think the BBC are expecting to get an increase. It would be very difficult to argue in the current climate.”
Last month Hunt condemned “extraordinary waste” at the BBC, and said hecould envisage the Licence Fee being cut.
Earlier this month a report for right-wing think-tank the Adam Smith Insitute suggested a radically slimmed down BBC could be funded by voluntary subscriptions.
Total BBC income, including money from commercial sources and for the World Service, currently totals £4.66bn a year.