Dowden: BBC Licence Fee Decriminalisation “Under Active Consideration”

After receiving 154,737 responses to his consultation, Oliver Dowden says “the government remains concerned that a criminal sanction for TV licence evasion is increasingly disproportionate and unfair in a modern public service broadcasting system. The consultation responses showed that a significant number of people oppose the criminal sanction with some highlighting the considerable stress and anxiety it can cause for individuals, including for the most vulnerable in society, such as older people.” Sounds encouraging…

Unfortunately the BBC has conned the DCMS into considering “alternative enforcement schemes”, so whilst “the issue of decriminalisation will remain under active consideration” they are going try and figure out a way of coercing money out of people who don’t watch the BBC whilst avoiding the embarrassment of criminalising grannies and hard up single-mums. In other words, keep the twentieth century telly tax…

mdi-timer 21 January 2021 @ 19:26 21 Jan 2021 @ 19:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris Promises BBC Reform at PMQs

Responding to a backbench question at PMQs, Boris has promised the Secretary of State for DCMS will address the issue of licence fee reform in a forthcoming review into the BBC. The question from Andrew Lewer prompted Boris to acknowledge that grievances with the current BBC settlement are shared by many people in the country and promised a roadmap for reform of the corporation will shortly be announced. Bring it on…

mdi-timer 2 September 2020 @ 12:41 2 Sep 2020 @ 12:41 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Pushing Ahead with Extorting Licence Fee from Over 75s

The BBC has today announced that despite coronavirus, the corporation will push ahead with taxing those aged over 75 for owning an unlicenced TV. The measure had been delayed by two months due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Now more than three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee from 1 August, giving the BBC a cash injection of £471,000,000. No wonder they can afford that £100,000,000 to be spent on diversity…

The Taxpayers’ Alliance is incensed by the news, saying “Rather than forcing pensioners to pay the hated telly tax, the BBC should acknowledge the current funding model isn’t fit for purpose and step into the twenty-first century by abolishing the licence fee altogether.” Quite.

We asked the BBC press office at midday:

“After  August 1, 2020 is it the BBC’s intention to prosecute over-75s who refuse to pay for a licence fee?”

No answer has been forthcoming.

Guido hasn’t paid the BBC licence fee for years. Nothing ever happens – even when Guido confessed to his crime on BBC Radio 4’s “The Moral Maze”. The response to the BBC’s extortion from our senior citizens should be a campaign of mass civil disobedience. Granny should ignore their begging letters and see if they will dare to send her to jail…

mdi-timer 9 July 2020 @ 13:28 9 Jul 2020 @ 13:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Proposes Replacing Licence Fee with Broadband Levy

The BBC’s response to the government’s consultation on decriminalising the licence fee is out. Their £4 billion solution to funding Gary Lineker? Switching the charge onto broadband bills – portraying it as an ‘efficiency measure’. Forgive Guido for not taking the BBC seriously in its desire to make efficiency savings…

The 40-page response states:

In some countries the TV licence, or equivalent, is linked directly to an existing common household bill. For example, it is collected through electricity bills in Italy and the equivalent of council tax bills in France. Another option to consider as the UK progresses towards universal access could be broadband bills.”

Not content with charging TV users for services they don’t want, they’ve moved onto asking internet users – who may not even own a TV – to pay for the BBC. The genius part of the plan? If you wanted to watch Netflix on your mobile phone, you’d still be forced to fund the Beeb without even owning a television. 

The TaxPayers’ Alliance’s James Roberts says

“With the nation stuck at home, making use of our broadband, the Beeb’s spotted an opportunity to slap a TV tax on the internet. Not only would it be wrong to have to pay the BBC protection money to watch Netflix, a broadband tax would also be terrible for smaller providers, whack up prices and drive poorer people offline. Ministers should take this as recognition that the licence fee is simply not fit for the twenty-first century, and that a decriminalisation of the TV tax should be the first step to future reforms.”  

Here’s an idea, why doesn’t the BBC instead of wanting to tax us to watch Netflix, make programmes people will be willing to pay for, like Netflix…

Read the BBC submission in full below:

Read More

mdi-timer 1 April 2020 @ 15:54 1 Apr 2020 @ 15:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government Wants Your Views on BBC Reform

Co-conspirators will know that Guido has little time for the BBC’s biased activist/experts, bloated news crews, and Question Time group think. Rival broadcasters don’t charge a legally-enforced licence fee to non-viewers. Why should the BBC continue to enjoy that privilege?

With the new consultation on decriminalising the TV tax, ministers may be finally looking at major changes to Britain’s state broadcaster. Decriminalising the licence fee is the first step to funding reform; from a tiered system to a subscription model. Something we’ve called for long before Dom got on the phone to Tim Shipman

The Taxpayers’ Alliance is preparing for a fight, rallying grassroots supporters to counter the tidal wave of worthy submissions (often from taxpayer-funded groups which always dominate these otherwise dull consultations). They’ve designed a nifty tool to do the legwork for you, and generate a submission which won’t fall foul of the notoriously selective civil service consultation guidelines. You can find it here.

They’re also on the lookout for some examples of poor old dears who’ve been on the receiving end of the BBC’s nasty enforcement letters and home visits. If your grandma’s been hassled by some BBC jobsworths, let the TPA know:

Join Guido in sticking in a submission, to stick it to the Beeb. The road to BBC reform starts by clicking here….

mdi-timer 28 February 2020 @ 15:57 28 Feb 2020 @ 15:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nicky Morgan Hints at BBC Licence Fee Reform

Speaking to Nick Robinson’s Political Thinking podcast this week, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan hinted that substantial reform for the national broadcaster might be just around the corner. Morgan said that the funding of the BBC is an issue that increasingly comes up on the doorstep: “why do I pay my licence fee, I don’t watch it, I don’t agree with it.” She went on to hint that scrapping the archaic licence fee was on the table going forward…

“This is the start of a process… people outside politics expect politicians to ask those questions, not just go ‘it’s all fine'”

Guido can’t wait…

mdi-timer 24 January 2020 @ 15:00 24 Jan 2020 @ 15:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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