UK households could face a new BBC tax, even if they don’t have a TV in their home.

The change to the BBC TV licence could see the current £159-a-year fee axed to make way for a viable alternative to the current licence fee, a new report has suggested.

The Lords Communications and Digital Committee said the model, in which each household would be required to pay a flat fee regardless of consumption, could provide the broadcaster with “predictable and sustainable levels of income”.

In a report into the future funding of the BBC, the committee said it would need to be means-tested to make it fairer than the current model, with linking the fee to council tax a way of achieving this.

This method has been adopted in Switzerland and Germany where people are charged for their public broadcasting service linked to how much property tax they pay.

In the 73-page document, the committee said many of the advantages of the existing licence fee are “under threat” and the model has become “regressive”.

It ruled out two funding models touted widely during the ongoing debate over the corporation’s funding.

John O’Connell, chief exec of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to prop up the BBC via the licence fee or any other tax. This crazy concept is no better than the licence fee.”

Why do we pay a TV licence?

BBC ‘open-minded’ about future funding

It comes after Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced in January that the licence fee will be frozen at £159 for the next two years until April 2024.

The minister said she wants to find a new funding model before the current deal expires in 2027 as it is “completely outdated”.

She also announced a review of the BBC’s funding model, which she later said was due to begin before the Commons summer recess on July 22, although this has been thrown into doubt following the resignation of Boris Johnson as Tory leader.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We welcome the Lord’s report. We agree we need to keep reforming which is what we have been doing at pace.

“Clearly the BBC needs to keep relevant and we welcome the report’s finding that a market failure BBC wouldn’t be a good outcome.

“Beyond that, we are open minded about the future and it is right there is a debate on whether the licence fee needs to evolve and if so, what comes next.”