Michael Grade, now chair of Ofcom, says the government should re-examine the fee and criticised the BBC’s handling of complaints

The head of Britain’s media regulator and a former chair of the BBC, Michael Grade, has described the broadcaster’s licence fee a “regressive tax” that needs to be re-examined by the government.

Pointing out that both he, a well-paid executive, and a single mother living on a low income, pay the same £159 licence fee, the former ITV and Channel 4 boss said one of the big questions for the next BBC charter review was whether the broadcaster should be allowed to compete for advertising revenue against commercial stations.

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