Here is what the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport thinks about the telly tax:
“I’m not saying I wouldn’t pay the licence fee – I would go on paying the licence fee. It is a poll tax. It’s actually worse than a poll tax because under the poll tax, if you were on a very low income you would get a considerable subsidy. The BBC licence fee, there is no means-tested element whatsoever; it doesn’t matter how poor you are, you pay £145.50 and go to prison if you don’t pay it.”
He continued last year:
“I think most people, almost everybody, accepts that the licence fee as it currently stands need some tweaking to sort out anomalies. People’s viewing habits have changed and it needs to reflect that. That’s a very simple change and I think people see that. You then have the question of whether or not it should remain a flat poll tax, collected through some fairly draconian measures, and whether it should still be criminally enforceable. Government has already announced consultation on decriminalisation. I’ve been looking at other countries and I think there’s quite an attractive option of linking it to a specific household tax – maybe council tax. I think in the longer term we are potentially looking at reducing at least a proportion of the licence fee that is compulsory and offering choice.”
The luvvies will luuuurve that.