The BBC takes free tv licences away from older pensioners

The BBC pocketed the higher licence fee but has now gone back of the idea that they should finance the free tv licences for the over 75s.

Should the government now decriminalise payment of the licence fee? Should it review BBC funding and spending to see why the BBC cannot afford to meet its obligations to pensioners?

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  1. Andy
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    This is the best thing that has happened this week.

    Finally something to make the elderly pay their way.

    Far from decriminalising non-payment we need tougher sanctions on those pensioners who do not pay.

    Removal of their other benefits – including their ludicrously excessive state pensions – should be a start.

    They get £168 a week for literally doing nothing. Outrageous.

    And, no. They have not paid as much into the system as they take out.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      There’s something very odd about the tone of your posts about pensioners.

      Anyway it would be great if you could persuade left wing parties to adopt such policies in time for the next election.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Maybe Andy has found the secret of eternal youth?
        Pensions are a relatively new concept ( and actually only brought in to stop elderly inefficient labour).
        Presumably if pensions were stopped then all benefits would have to go. No more income tax or NI. No more child benefit. No more NHS.No roads or rail.
        Back to parish relief, turnpike roads, penny panels and Dame schools for some.
        One should perhaps be careful what one wishes for?

        • Hope
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          I think JR has just admitted another Tory Govt. failure over the last nine years!

          What is your culture media sports minister for ? Oh I know to promote cultural Marxism to prevent free speech on computers and social media! Unbelievable.

        • NickC
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Everhopeful, Andy is too dim to see that he is transgressing the 5th Commandment (Respect your father and mother); and the consequence of his foolishness is that his own children will not respect him when he is older.

        • Steve
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

          NickC / Everhopeful

          Ignore the infantile jerk, he only does it to provoke reaction and knows if he said that crap in public he’d get sorted very rapidly and probably wake up in ITU.

        • AlmostDead
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

          Sounds wonderful to me. Smaller government is just what this country needs

          • Everhopeful
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

            Yes! I know! As I typed I was thinking…ooooh sounds ok!
            Might have to be done gradually…but actually a very liberating thought!

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        It’s actually exciting to see Andy’s point of view.

        It confirms that hatred is on Remain’s side in fact.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink


          “It confirms that hatred is on Remain’s side in fact”

          It does no such thing. Your generalisation is absurd. There were over 16m of us Remain voters – no doubt each with their own opinions.

          Would you not feel insulted if I were to remind you that 70% of voters whose educational attainment is only GCSE or lower voted to Leave, while 68% of voters with a university degree voted to Remain.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

            How is your post relevant to the post by Anonymous?

          • NickC
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, Not that old Remain canard again! From a pivot point around the 40-45 year olds, older people tended to vote Leave – as Andy keeps reminding us in his hate rants against “17.4m far right Tory pensioners”.

            It is a fact that for people over 55 the chance of going to university was very low (typically below 5%) whereas today the chance is around 45%. So of course younger people – who tended to vote Remain – have more degrees! Grow up.

          • graham1946
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            Your sneering post confirms it though.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink


            Yes but more successful business people voted leave ( 63%) whereas “academics” public sector and media workers tended to vote Remain

            So on balance the productive economy was served by leave

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear. A boring and predictable post from you again Andy. Your imagination has hit a brick wall.

    • Richard
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      The National Insurance Acts 1925 & 1948 introduced a CONTRIBUTORY State Pension for all – from the age of 65 for men and 60 for women. Paid for, Andy, out of National Insurance contributions!

      • graham1946
        Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        And we paid for Andy’s childhood health and ‘education’ which seems to have been a waste of money.

    • Bob Dixon
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Enjoy your old age.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Ditto the unemployed Andy – they also get paid for doing literally nothing, let’s stop all benefits for them too.

      • AlmostDead
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        The entire benefits system for both the elderly and unemployed should be scraped. These types of “benefits” should be provided by the private sector. Make individuals responsible not the government.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      The first little old lady banged up will see a mass boycott.

      I suppose you’re also pleased about the R4’s (Joe Brand) “throw acid in Nigel Farage’s face” comment.

      I’m not against the BBC. I’m against the BBC full stop ! Why do we need it in this day and age ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Meant to say: I’m not against the BBC licence. I’m against the BBC full stop !

      • jerry
        Posted June 14, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous; So what is the difference between the little old lady “banged up” for not paying for the TVL fee, that happens to fund BBC channels she do not like, does not watch, and one “banged up” for defrauding BSkyB, some of whose subscription fees happen to fund certain channels she does not like, does not watch, but the law says she has to pay regardless because she wants to, and is happy to, pay to watch Sky Sports.

        Do you think Sky should be forced to allow people to subscribe just to their sports channels, or indeed film channels, without first having to subscribe to their (mostly awful, in my opinion) ‘Entertainment Mix’ package. If not, double standards?

        • NickC
          Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          Jerry, Because for the Sky service you can legally choose to pay or not. But for Sky you cannot choose legally not to pay the BBC. Duh . . . .

          • jerry
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

            @Nick; You CHOOSE to watch broadcast TV, no one makes you. QED. Make that choice, you need to comply with the laws relating to the use of RF equipment.

            You keep failing to understand some basic point of law, you seem to think you are being forced to watch TV, you fail to understand that it is not an offence to own a TV, just use it to receive and use a broadcast RF signal (or time-shifted content). Try to understand what is and is not permissible under the law before carrying on with your anti BBC agenda, all you do is show your ignorance.

            Go buy some DVDs, or watch permissible content via your computer or IPTV Set-top box, most TVs can now be connect to the HDMI ports on computers and -err- DVD/Blu-ray payers or STBs!

          • libertarian
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink


            So youre saying as long as I watch live TV through the internet I dont need a licence?

            RF signals, lol so last century

            The BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee which is charged to all British households, companies, and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up

            Youre ignorant of modern technology Jerry , how long ago did you stop working for the BBC?

          • NickC
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, False. The BBC TV tax is not a general tax collected by the government for the use of RF equipment, it is specifically to fund the BBC only. And the BBC is merely one of many providers. If I choose to watch another provider, say Sky, there is no practical or moral reason why I should be forced to fund the BBC. Try again, Jerry.

          • jerry
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

            @Walter; I did not mention the iPlayer, I said “permissible content”, the point being debated is how to access non BBC content legally on a TV without needing a TVL. As long as you follow the rules, IPTV will allow that. yes you might have to forgo live events and programmes but that is your CHOICE if you CHOOSE not to pay the TVL fee.

          • jerry
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

            @NickC, “The BBC TV tax is not a general tax”

            Irrelevant. So what if HMG altered the relevant Act so that all monies from the TVL fee collection passed to HMT instead of the BBC, the HMT then (via the DfCMS) funded the BBC out of the general pot to the extract same amount, problem solved -by your logic!..

            “collected by the government for the use of RF equipment”

            The TVL is very much a licence to use television receiver equipment;


            “If I choose to watch another provider, say Sky, there is no practical or moral reason why I should be forced to fund the BBC.”

            If I choose to take out a Sky Sports subscription to watch live F1 or Cricket, there is no practical or moral reason why I should be forced to buy a Sky Entertainment mix subscription first, 500 odd channels I do not want, nor watch. Try again, Nick.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


      I don’t know how old you are, but I would point out that some of the elderly were paying into the system before you were born,.

      All I can say is, that, if what you wish for happens (the abolishing of pensioner benefits) it happens when you are eligible for these benefits yourself.
      I suspect that you may have a very different point of view then.

      • AlmostDead
        Posted June 14, 2019 at 12:04 am | Permalink

        I don’t believe that the money contributed during the pensioners lifetime comes close to the money they take out after retirement. As a result, its a giveaway and something we should actively discourage

    • jerry
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Andy, most of the ‘elderly’ you refer to have been paying their way ever since the late 1940s onwards, and some even still pay income tax in their 90s, these people paid for yours and miy educations, yours and my health service etc, they also paid for their parents and grandparents state pensions and health care etc, you really do not have a first clue.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink


      You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. If pensioners had been allowed to invest their own money in their pensions they would have 9 times more than the state pays them.

      I guess you dont intend getting old Andy , already booked your room in Switzerland?

      We know why Andy loves the EU, he obviously sees a role as a Gulag guard

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink


        “We know why Andy loves the EU, he obviously sees a role as a Gulag guard”

        I’m afraid you have strayed into the wrong place here. The Gulags were in Russia.

        • NickC
          Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, Not quite. Originally Russian, the word “gulag” is now taken in English to mean prison for merely holding a political opinion in opposition to the establishment. So Libertarian is correct.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 15, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink


          Indeed and the nazis were in Germany . So whats your point?

      • AlmostDead
        Posted June 14, 2019 at 12:06 am | Permalink

        Get back what you put in but not a penny more

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 14, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          Almost Dead. That is not what National Insurance was intended for.
          It’s a Ponzi scheme, it’s collapsing as lots of people didn’t pay in their share but take the max out. By far bigger a pension time bomb is the Public Sectors’ final salary pension schemes with tens of years spent in this happy state due to early retirements, not the pittance given to most people now aged 67 who will have been paying in and their employer contributing for 50 years.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 14, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink


        A man as busy as you should really spend his time writing slightly deeper and rather more intelligent notes. I thought you knew better?

        • NickC
          Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          Hans, A man as busy as you should really spend his time writing slightly deeper and rather more intelligent notes. I knew you couldn’t though.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            Nick C


          • NickC
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

            Hans, No. Parody.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 15, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink


          Someone as busy as me gets the basic facts right . Whats your excuse being both not busy and wrong with you facts

          Mrs Merkle still struggling I see

    • Fred H
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Andy…..Still, I bet your mother is proud of you? No? – oh well, never mind.

    • acorn
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      The stats show that the median “leave” voter is a white male quasi-pensioner of below median educational attainment. Post a “no-deal” brexit, all single, double and triple locks on state pensions and all other budget fiscal multi-year escalators currently operative, will have to be rescinded. That is assuming this Conservative government continues to want a budget surplus by 2025.

      It is ideologically impossible for a laissez faire, neoliberal, conservative government to increase government spending, thus increasing its budget deficit, to force economic growth up to the point of inflation. Its lack of understanding of how a fiat currency economy actually works, leaves it with tax cuts as its only economic tool. Tax cuts are far less effective than direct treasury spending into the economy, that generates demand side – household – spending.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        I never realised there were over 17 million white, male quasi pensioners of below median educational attainment.
        What an amazing use of statistics acorn.
        Was it in the Guardian the BBC or the Independent?

        • acorn
          Posted June 14, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

          I take it you are not familiar with the statistical use of the word “median”.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

            I am thanks acorn.
            I just find your claim a very typical remain supporter comment trying to denigrate those who voted to leave by smearing them in the usual way.

          • NickC
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

            Acorn, You too then. A median is applicable to a data set, perhaps a characteristic of a set of people – such as their age – but not to the people themselves.

  2. Pat
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    The BBC should be privatised, at least the TV part.
    There is not a monopoly for anyone to exploit.
    TV is readily monetized (see sky for example).
    Why should anyone pay for it unless they watch it.
    The cold war is over, we no longer need a state broadcaster.

    • Richard
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Some numbers on how the BBC would survive without the licence fee: “If it started to host advertising like ITV, it could raise about £3 billion. Add that to the £1.2 billion it already receives from commercial work.”
      There looks to be plenty of scope for efficiency savings.

      There should be a level playing field v other media providers; willing customers should pay via advertising/ subscriptions.
      The current quality of BBC programmes do not reflect the price of the TV license.
      The BBC Charter duty of impartiality & fairness is frequently ignored.
      No surprise a new petition to abolish the BBC television license is proving hugely popular.

  3. Dominic
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    This organisation needs root and branch reform. It’s become nothing less than a propaganda platform for the London centric Europhile liberal left and hard left provocateurs

    The final straw was Brand’s deliberate incitement. The Europhile, pro-Labour BBC knew exactly what Brand had intended to say. Her actions are incendiary. Her extremist opinion concealed behind comedy would not have been aired if Farage had been an MP. Brand stepped over a very definite line but more importantly so did the BBC.

    I believe that BBC afforded Brand a platform to express incitement to violence in their continued and determined plan to demonise Farage and Brexit. I believe this is unprecedented in BBC history

    I prefer to see abolition of the licence fee

    This organisation must ripped apart and put back together. Marr and his ilk must be despatched into obscurity

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:24 pm | Permalink


      “Her actions (Brands) are incendiary”

      Really? Then how do you describe your:

      “Marr and his ilk must be despatched into obscurity”?


      In fact I find most of your postings extremely unpleasant but wouldn’t dream of threatening you for expressing them.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 14, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        Obscurity is not a violent threat Margaret.
        Unlike that comedian’s comment.

  4. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Public opinion is turning against the BBC, and this latest example of their lack of ability to do their job properly, economically and without bias, will do them no good.
    Don’t they still provide MP’s with free TV, and don’t they also pay their alleged stars an excessive salary? Yet they pick on pensioners who can least afford it to rob them of this small perk…. Certainly the BBC has no soul.
    I favour a total closedown of the BBC, with assets sold off and added to the public purse.

    Do we need a national broadcaster any more? Certainly not, not when they abuse their position, indoctrinate rather than provide news coverage, and push their own agenda

  5. Mark B
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again.

    I am against the TV Tax for many reasons, but mostly because it is a redundant, given modern encryption technology, means of funding. It reduces choice, a fundamental Conservative principle, and criminalizes people unnecessarily. It also prevents the BBC from living within its means and stiffles creativity as it is currently unresponsive to consumer choice.

    So yes. Get rid of it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Exactly like the NHS, social housing, state schools ……. this system kills fair competition, real freedom and choice. That is why the state likes it. They have your money already and you get what your given, if you are lucky, and like it mate!

  6. Nigl
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    No the BBC hasn’t. As I understand it the government meet this at the moment and decided to dump it on the Beeb from 2020.

    So if correct faux outrage from government ministers and MPs , it is presumably the Treasury that once again has its fingerprints all over it and no doubt laughing that the Beeb is copping it.

  7. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Me, I am over 75. Me, I will scrape my £150 together without a grumble.

    I call upon the BBC to do the same: economise!

    Actually among the many tv channels, I quite like the BBC, but it has most certainly not got a monopoly of my listening (radio) or viewing (tv). LBC and Classic FM, even ITV are better or certainly just as good.

    What I would really like is to have the BBC demoted from being our “national broadcaster”, to lose the licence fee altogether and to be cut right back so that is becomes like it once was: cutting edge. Maybe it has grown too old, too fat and too complacent now though for that.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Mike, yep…Your last para says it all, bar it was cutting edge, gosh you really are way over 75. What else was there? All I remember as a little lad in the young fifties, listening to the BBC was that the Queen spoke on lots and lots of programs (it seemed to me), I had trouble understanding what was said the accent so refined. Cutting edge was Luxembourg, then Caroline, then Pans People …..cor! phwoar. Now cutting edge is merely filthy language, shouting and cruelty, but it gets laughs from some.

  8. APL
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    JR: “Should the government now decriminalise payment of the licence fee? ”

    You know the answer to that. Yes. Question is, will the government decriminalise the payment of the licence fee. We know the answer to that too.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    A BBC funded from direct taxation as is being mooted in some places ? Please no ! Then it really would be a state broadcaster of which no free society should have.

    Gary Lineker would become a state employee and need a huge pay cut then.

    The question is not how the BBC should be funded but whether we need it at all with the high quality commercial stations there are. If they aren’t going to allow old people to have it free then I can see no benefit to the BBC at all.

    The other issue is this.

    10 million adults have been added to our population since 1997. Clearly they can’t have been paying the BBC licence perhaps:

    A) Because they don’t watch it and are not, therefore, culturally assimilated as we were promised they would be

    C) they are not bothering to pay it, therefore old people are a soft target

    D) they are not earning enough to pay it (living in high occupancy accommodation) and therefore unlikely to be paying beneficial amounts of tax to the country either

    The BBC should be swimming in licence fees as the NHS should be swimming in doctors but both are drowning, it seems.

  10. StephenJ
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I would suggest that it adopt a similar model to Netflix, then it might have to offer entertainment and information to everyone, rather than just its client group of Guardian readers.

    The connection between TV licences and actual TV sets is virtually blackmail and should be stopped immediately.

  11. Alex
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    The BBC licence should be ended. It has no justification at all and hasn’t had for a very long time. The BBC is riddled with bias, entitlement and scandal and it’s staff get large salaries and expenses whilst despising the people that pay for it all. No such organisation should have the right to extort money from anyone.

  12. J Bush
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    The TV tax should be removed and let the BBC & CH4 operate on subscriptions like all the other stations.

    However, that is unlikely to happen with the current Parliament mob, as it appears they like the idea of enforced tax funded left wing propaganda broadcasting.

    So the best solution, is as you suggest, decriminalise it.

    I stopped watching TV over 15 years ago, when it became noticeably partial. The odd occasions I see it is when visiting family and the propaganda is now full on blatant.

  13. David Potter
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    In answer to your two questions;
    1. YES.
    2. YES.

  14. Caterpillar
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The license fee should just stop. The BBC should be made to rebrand, it is distasteful for that organization to have a monopoly on the first B and to misrepresent it. The rebranded BC can use subscription, sponsorship and advertising like others. Given the range of subscriptions available the over 75s could be provided with a subscription allowance.

    It is upsetting to know that one’s TV licence has funded BBC presenters to encourage violent crime (acid attacks) against politicians standing up for democracy and not be able to withdraw one’s custom because of watching another provider’s broadcast.

  15. Mick Anderson
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    If we accept for a moment that there needs to be a state-funded broadcaster, then a compulsory licence is a dreadfully inefficient way to go about it. It may have made sense when the BBC was established in 1922, but the world has moved on massively since then.

    Abolish the licence fee, but pay for the BBC out of general taxation. There is a close enough correlation between those who don’t pay for a licence (children and the elderly) to not make a difference to the end result.

    All of the costs of managing the licence system will be abolished at a stroke, as will the costs of the Magistrates (and others) in enforcing the system. A perfect win-win situation unless you are employed to collect licence money, in which case you can go and find a useful, productive job.

    The price of the licence is a political decision anyway, so having the Chancellor decide on how much to pay in an annual budget doesn’t really change things.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Soviet states need state broadcasters, not us !

    • Mark B
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      And what off you don’t pay tax ? Do such persons get free tv or, so you deny them ?

  16. Richard1
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Certainly it should be decriminalised. The bbc should collect its fees like any other enterprise. It should be encouraged to move to a subscription service. In other moves I think the obligation to be politically neutral isn’t working. On certain subjects it clearly isn’t. It should have an obligation to provide balance – meaning getting people on with alternative perspectives and not pretend to be neutral.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Certainly when the police won’t prosecute shop lifting.

  17. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t see why this shouldn’t be means tested though I suspect that means testing will either be a tick box exercise or cost more than it saves.

    Therefore I foresee this being a pointless exercise.

    I have no problem with the licence fee but would like to see the BBC become less worthy overall.

  18. Kevin
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The answer to question one is, “Yes”. More problematic is the conducting
    of a review. The only outcome I can foresee there is more taxpayers’
    money being wasted. Another possibility is for BBC’s channels to be
    made subscription-only, so that you have to actively choose them before
    you are obliged to pay.

  19. Everhopeful
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    The BBC should pay us to watch its utterly putrid, politically motivated progs.
    At one time it seemed to make such good dramas…but on reflection many were probably early brainwashers ( Dickens/socialist etc etc?)..I was just unaware of Cultural Marxism at the time. Now most progs can be interpreted through that prism.
    The good old Beeb has now removed the pink cellophane wrapper and their agenda is clear.
    Yet they don’t have the nerve to compete in the market place.( Wonder why??).
    The licence fee is the gateway to all TV. ( Maybe less so with Netflix etc now? GOOD)
    Who’d pay just to receive the BBC?? To watch all that undermining??
    Lefties HATE old people so licence fee no surprise. But very cruel, petty and spiteful.

  20. formula57
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    The Government should do nothing at all otherwise it risks inconsistency with its hitherto negligent, unconcerned approach to the ever-increasing outrage of an obsolete, inappropriate means of funding through forced levies on its rivals’ customers an organization that has lost its way.

    The BBC could have replicated for itself the international business success of the likes of Netflix. It would than not need to milk pensioners nor non-users.

  21. Shieldsman
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Considering the poor quality and bias of the BBC there are very few new programmes I watch. The day time is filled up with cheaply produced and repeat programmes.
    It is a Broadcast Receiving Licence handed over to the BBC, originally for the only news and sound & vision entertainment over the ether.
    There is nothing special about the BBC anymore, it is bloated and perhaps should be culled.
    Why should you have to pay if you do not watch BBC?

  22. What Tiler
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    The licence fee should have been abolished years ago; it is appalling that we can be required to fund our own attempted indoctrination.

  23. James1
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    The Government should put in place measures to decriminalise payment of the licence fee. This should take effect as from the date that the people who ‘manage’ the BBC have decided to renege upon the obligation to meet the obligation to pensioners. If the people who work at the BBC are as good as they think they are they have nothing to worry about from competition from other broadcasters in a free market. Nobody is going to starve or freeze if the forced payment of a licence fee is no longer in effect.

  24. wab
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    “why the BBC cannot afford to meet its obligations to pensioners?”

    I think you meant

    “why the government cannot afford to meet its obligations to pensioners?”

    If the government thinks that pensioners should havef TV for free then the government should fund it. (Do pharmacies have to pay for free prescriptions that the government mandates, or does the government pay for these?)

    The real goal of right wing zealots (working on behalf of the oligarchs that they want to run the world) is to destroy the BBC and replace it with a British equivalent of Fox News and the Sinclair Broadcast Group, so that the plebs can be fed a suitable diet of corporate propaganda.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Total opposite of the truth.

    • Pud
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      The last licence fee increase was permitted on the condition that the BBC provided free licences for the over 75s. The BBC have reneged on their agreement.

  25. ferdinand
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    That is just the point. The Government should reduce it’s funding to the BBC by the amount the BBC has gained by extra income from pensioners.

  26. Timaction
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    The BBC provides far to much service that people no longer want to hear or see. The news and current affairs it provides is tainted propaganda. It doesn’t report the news but tries to impose its views on us. It’s time it was a subscription service of choice and not allowed to a newscaster at all.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink


  27. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    It is outrageous that the BBC should renege on its commitments in its agreement with the government. The licence fee should not just be decriminalised it should be abolished. The BBC should operate like ITV. The BBC pays excessively high salaries to people of little talent such as Gary Lineker. Also it seems Speaker Bercow can have his SKY TV subscription paid for by the taxpayers but those the BBC were, only last week, lauding for their roles in the D-Day landings and beyond will now have to pay for their tv licences. The stench from Westminster is nauseating.

  28. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Scrap the license fee and let the BBC sink or swim.

  29. George Brooks
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Perhaps someone can put me right but I thought that the licence fee was originally to pay for the infrastructure needed for a national broadcasting system and an organisation to provide totally unbiased news and a range of programmes covering a very broad range of interests. BBC 2 came into existence to increase the range of interest.

    Now it seems the BBC regards the fee to be theirs and to squander as they please. If that is the case then there should be an option not to view the BBC but be able to view the other broadcasters.

    BBC news is so biased it is sickening to watch or listen to. Part of the blame for the country becoming so divided over Brexit can be laid at the door of the news editors and some of its political reporters.

    The BBC now regarding the fee as theirs, standards have fallen out of the sky. For example BBC Breakfast now only provides 7 to 10 minutes of news at the hour and half that at the half hour and then becomes a cross between Listen with mother, Casualty, Women’s hour and then a disorganised chat show between the presenters all talking over each other.

    Sports coverage has almost disappeared except for football and each of the news sections, B/fast, Midday, 6pm and 10pm send their own reporter to overseas matches. Nice this last week was a good example when a lead presenter/reporter and standby would have been sufficient, but we paid for at least 5 or more to travel there.

    Control of the fee should be brought back to central government

  30. Michael
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Over75’s should have free TV licence.

  31. jerry
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “Should the government now decriminalise payment of the licence fee?”

    Decriminalise ‘tax’ evasion?… No, that might satisfy the baying anti BBC mob on this site but it could be a very sticky wicket for the HMT!

    Ideally the Govt should swallow their pride and admit it was wrong to go against it’s own 2017 Manifesto pledge, funding the exemption from the HMT.

    Failing that the Govt. needs to regulate the BBC better, enforce cuts to non core services.

    • jerry
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      If only there was a pre-moderation edit button…

      Just to add, when I say the Govt. “needs to regulate the BBC better”, I mean it needs to enforce the Royal Charter, in the context to how it has been written – to inform, educate and entertain. There was a rational as to why Reith listed those words in that order, it was true in the days of radio but is even more so in the age of (multi channel) television.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        “Baying anti BBC mob on this site”…wow what way to describe the many on here that have alternative views on how a modern world BBC should be financed.
        A baying mob…

        • jerry
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          Sarcasm is obviously lost on some, I expect Eddie didn’t even spot what I did, swapping the word “Fee” for “Tax”…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            Gosh how clever.
            You got me there Jezza.
            You write a set of words and then when challenged revert to the sarcasm excuse.

          • jerry
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

            As I said, Eddie you obliviously do not understand sarcasm, I have not edited my OP Eddie, the sarcasm was there from the get-go!

          • Edward2
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            So your phrase, “the baying anti BBC mob on here” was meant as a sarcastic comment.
            And not an insult to every person who write posts wanting a change to how the BBC is funded.
            OK thanks for the explanation jezza.

          • jerry
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Read my entire comment, not just the bit you are trying to troll….

          • Edward2
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

            You have been replying in a quite agressive manner to nearly every post on this BBC topic yet you have the nerve to call others trolls.
            And I’m not being sarcastic.

          • jerry
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            Eddie, If it looks like a shovel I’ll call it a shovel, not a spade…

            My first reply to you (above) was polite, if sarcastic, you just kept digging, now you bleat.

            For those who wish to engage in a debate, not a pointless off topic slanging match, I’m quite prepared to have a ‘polite’ debate! I might not (always or totally) agree with Wragg, NickC, Mr Life, or Libby etc. but I do try and answer their points, as they do with me. The only person being argumentative and aggressive is you Eddie, purposely extracting half a dozen words out of context, whilst ignoring the sarcastic context in which they were used.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            Have the last word jezza.
            You know you have to.
            You say you just try to answer their points.
            You say you are just being sarcastic you say are not aggressive nor argumentative yet you call people ignorant or trolls or say they are right wing extremists in your replies.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        jerry…. to inform, educate and entertain.
        thats a laugh. inform has become propaganda, educate when it did ‘listen with mother’ …entertainment such as Mrs Brown’s Boys? At least a chance to let the tv valves cool off! Even 5 live in the morning has become a voice for ignorant minorities with outrageous opinions (who selects these morons?) and as for Robbie Savage, he has won awards !! I worry for the listening public. Raise the education of our younger generation by cancelling the BBC.

        • jerry
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          @Fred H; Tell me what BSkyB do to inform, educate and -only then- entertain. The BBC is not perfect but it does try to carry out its PSB remit, your beloved commercial or subscription services don’t even give you the time of day or weather forecast unless they can make a buck or two from sponsorships… As for bias, Ch4, even Sky News is far worse that the BBC, but how many complain.

    • NickC
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, You do not need to worry so. No one wants to take your BBC away from you. But your stricture that we (who don’t want the BBC) ought to pay for your BBC entertainment is simply fraudulent.

      • jerry
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        @NickC, What ever, if you can’t be bothered to actually read what I say…

        • NickC
          Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          Jerry, You repeated opinion is that the BBC must remain funded as it is, but you fail to provide any facts or rationale as to why that should be so. In particular you are unable to explain why I should fund your biases.

          • jerry
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

            NickC; Thanks for proving you do not read what I say!

            I have made it clear time and time again that I defend the TVL fee (to fund PSB content), not the BBC.

            It would not matter to me if the BBC was closed down, the TVL fee being then diverted to fund local community TV channels, or to pay commercial FTA TV channels to make, and broadcast, PSB programming – so long as it is not buried in graveyard slots and the such.

          • NickC
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, But the TV tax is used to fund the BBC. And the BBC is biased – like all media. Your extensive comments on this subject (eg: “the baying anti BBC mob on here”) do attempt to support the BBC. Wonders will never cease – are you now accepting the BBC is rotten, and a rotten monolith that unfairly dominates UK media, precisely because it is funded by an hypothecated tax?

          • jerry
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

            NickC, Nice rant, now perhaps you would be so kind to actually reply to my previous comment…

  32. Bob
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Change the name of the TV Licence to BBC Licence, and allow unlicensed people to watch TV channels which are not funded by it.

    Abolition of the TV Licence is a UKIP policy, which is why the BBC smear and sneer at UKIP at every opportunity. A disgusting organisation.

    Unfunny BBC “comedienne” Jo Brand suggested that people should throw acid instead of milkshakes into the faces of politician whom she despises, and the BBC said that it’s okay to say that, if it’s done jokingly. The BBC think that acid attacks are funny?

    See how their attitude changes depending on who is the butt of the joke?

    • jerry
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      @Bob; Fine by me to make the BBC subscription only, but there needs to be a level playing field, either encrypted and fully funded by subscriptions or FTA funded by paid for adverts. So what about all those subscription channels that are partially funded by advertising, you might not like to admit that customers at the checkouts etc. ultimately pay for such adverts but it is a fact none the less, should people have free access to any subscription channels who also air paid for commercials?

      • Bob
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink


        “should people have free access to any subscription channels who also air paid for commercials?”

        Someone who wants to watch ITV should not be forced to pay for BBC, and if someone wants to buy or not buy a packet of cornflakes that is entirely their decision, we don’t live in North Korea (yet).

        TV snoopers peeping though windows to see if you’re watching telly and using the courts and police service to enforce revenue collection is an outdated and inappropriate business model for the 21st century.

        • jerry
          Posted June 14, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

          @Bob; Yours is a Strawman argument, should people only pay the taxes they wish, should CND members not be forced to pay for MOD spending, should the childless be forced to fund the DfE, should motorists who never use the Motorway network pay less VED, and as for a snoopers charter, try defrauding the HMRC or even just BSkyB and you will know what those pesky ‘snoopers’ can lawfully do to expose you.

          I also note that you dodged the question I actually asked, should those who help fund (via advertising) content on subscription channels have lawful access to that content for free, otherwise are they not being forced to pay for content they can not watch even if they wished?

          • Bob
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink


            Simply buying a product doesn’t oblige the seller to provide the buyer access to any newspaper, magazine or TV channel where that advertiser chooses to spend his advertising budget. that is a ludicrous suggestion.

            As for your strawman argument, tax receipts are not ring fenced, they go into one account and the Chancellor decides how the money is spent. The BBC Licence is purely there to fund the BBC and therefore should only be applicable to viewing BBC broadcasts. It’s an anachronistic system of funding that should have been discontinued years ago, the BBC needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The idea that we should have TV inspectors entering our homes with search warrants accompanied by police officers and dragging people though the already overburdened court system is preposterous. The police have got more important things to do.

          • jerry
            Posted June 14, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; Indeed no one has to buy a product advertised on TV, just as no one has to buy a TV (or at least use it to watch broadcast TV), the TVL is a licence to receive [1], not own, and even then reception is not guaranteed!

            [1] the Govt could shut down the BBC, or make take the subscription route for its funding but keep the TVL, use the income to (say) fund 10Gig fibre internet to every home in the UK…

          • Bob
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink


            “Govt could shut down the BBC”

            Finally, we agree!

            “keep the TVL, use the income to (say) fund 10Gig fibre internet to every home in the UK”

            So long as they’re not using it to fund political propaganda, I’d have no objection.

          • jerry
            Posted June 16, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            @Bob; re your last sentence, fine by me, ban politics from the UK’s internet, but like the PRC, we might need a Great [firewall of] Britain to achieve your wish – and how will your beloved UKIP/TBP get their ‘biased’ (in some peoples opinions) message out then?!

            Beware of untended consequences….

          • Bob
            Posted June 16, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink


            “ban politics from the UK’s internet”


          • jerry
            Posted June 18, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

            @Bob; “Why?

            Because in reply to my suggestion that that the TVL fee could be used to fund 10G fibre internet to all UK homes, you said;

            So long as they’re not using it to fund political propaganda, I’d have no objection.

  33. Peter Miller
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    The BBC continues to lose the plot. A sprawling plethora of overpaid lefty/luvvy administrators and presenters continue to waste money on a scale that would make even a north of England Labour council blush.

    When it comes to the subjects of Brexit and Climate Change, the BBC guarantees you open, often vitriolic, hostility against anyone daring to speak out against trendy lefty groupthink.

    Demanding that our very senior senior citizens pay for waste and extravagance in the BBC again demonstrates the contempt its ‘elite’ hold for the general public.

    • jerry
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      @Peter Miller; Everything you say is also true of Ch4 and Sky News, but some still single out the BBC… The BBC could be closed down, the ERG, UKIP, TBP and many pothers would still get the same rough ride my the broadcast MSM as would their opposite political opponents. The BBC is not the problem, light-touch regulation is.

      • NickC
        Posted June 14, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Jerry, It is not the issue of the particular political bias of the broadcaster – “the same rough ride” – it is the manifest unfairness of having to pay one special provider (the BBC) before being able to legally access any of the others. The BBC TV tax is just a protection racket.

        • jerry
          Posted June 15, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

          @NickC; “it is the manifest unfairness of having to pay one special provider”

          You mean like how one has to pay for a basic Sky subscription before having to pay another subscription to access their sports content?! Life is unfair, but not one bleat from you about that unfairness, that many are now deigned access to live Cricket, F1, much Golf, Football, if Sky thought they could make a buck or two no doubt one wouldn’t be able to even watch the World Cup of Tiddlywinks for free either…

          “TV tax is just a protection racket.”

          As are multi-channel subscription packages, 500 channels you do not want nor watch just to watch the one you do want. Many of these channels could never survive away from the package deal, if all channels were sold on a per channel bases.

  34. oldwulf
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The BBC method of funding has no place in the UK in the 21st century.

    • jerry
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      @oldwulf; Nor does the subscription method, it would be quite possible to have some form of PAYG payment system in place, it would allow people to pay for just the channels/content they want to watch and when (in the case of time-shifted content).

      • Bob
        Posted June 14, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Why not just allow each service to decide on their own funding model and dispense with the idea that by not subscribing to the BBC you cannot watch the other channels. Let the BBC sink or swim based on it’s own merit (or lack of).

        • jerry
          Posted June 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          @Bob; “[without] subscribing to the BBC you cannot watch the other channels”

          Without subscribing to Sky One (etc.) I can not watch Sky Sports, why not let Sky One (etc.) “sink or swim based on it’s own merit”?…

          Why are you so against allowing people to simply pay for the channels or content they actually want to watch, you object to having to fund the BBC but seem happy to fund the likes of Euronews via your subscriptions!

          • NickC
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Because choosing not to fund Sky is a choice Bob is free to make. But he cannot choose not to fund the BBC if he merely wants to watch Sky.

          • jerry
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

            @NicC; You do not need to watch broadcast TV to obtain your news or entertainment, it is a CHOICE.

          • Bob
            Posted June 16, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink


            Why should the BBC benefit financially because someone would like to watch ITV news?

  35. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Along with abolition of HoL and an English Parliament making the BBC a subscription only service are stone cold vote and election winners.

    • Bob
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Well apart from the English parliament that’s a good match with the UKIP manifesto.
      Chuck in abolition of HS2, inheritance tax, stamp duty and overseas aid (they would change it to emergency aid) and bingo!

  36. nigel
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Do we really need a full on public service tv and radio service these days? There are plenty of alternative news and entertainment platforms available, either free to air or on subscription.
    It is time for the liberal left leaning anti Brexit BBC to stand on its own feet and fund itself from advertising or subscriptions as do other providers.
    If a World Service is deemed necessary then that should be funded through the Foreign Office (or perhaps the Overseas Aid Budget).
    Why should everyone be forced to pay for the overinflated salaries of the BBC “stars” and staff, when may people (especially the young), hardly ever watch or listen to the programmes? It is just another tax, which could and should be removed.

  37. Fred H
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Q ..Should the government now decriminalise payment of the licence fee? A: YES
    Q Should it review BBC funding and spending? A.. YES.
    Q…Should it ensure a major review and elimination of excessive spending takes place? A..YES
    Q.. Should the senior management face examination of the alleged bias, and if proven face dismissal? A..YES

  38. MG
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink


  39. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I assume the original agreement between the Government and the BBC was written properly to safeguard the pensioner situation.
    If so, then just force the BBC to act under the terms and conditions which were put in place and agreed at the time.

    If as I suspect there were no enforcement terms put in place or agreed, then it seems the BBC can do as it likes.
    Think it is time the BBC was renamed and its protectionist stand alone licence fee income is withdrawn, as it already earns money from many other commercial interests.

  40. Everhopeful
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    £ x 1Trillion committed by our PM…who left on 7th June!! (@ nevergoingever).
    Apparently electric cars are NOT emission free.
    They are very heavy ( like milk floats!!) and emit particulates from the tyres and brakes.
    In Germany and Poland they will be effectively filling up their electric cars with dirty coal. And we will be losing our heavy industry and exporting the pollution.
    Well,well, well ….what a “legacy”….
    Three utterly wasted years.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Really sorry! Totally off topic.
      Just read about it and ….grrrrrrrr!

  41. calnorth
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Switch it to subscription and/or funding as competing companies (ITV/Sky etc)…don’t think I need to say that really. It should not be a money privilege to own a TV/Radio receiver.

    Expect failure as with the BBC store and BBC World. Much rubbish needs to be cleared out!

  42. Alastair Harris
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The TV licence and the BBC would struggle to justify its existence now. Time for a proper rethink

  43. Walt
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    The BBC should not have been forced to make this decision. Free TV licences for over-75s is a benefit introduced by Government, as were pensioners’ bus passes and Winter Fuel Allowance. The decision to maintain, modify, or abolish any such State benefit rightly rests with Government and should not be passed elsewhere. As it is, the BBC appear to have made the best of a bad job. (Disclosure: I will not qualify for a free licence under these new rules.)

  44. Peter
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    This will add to negative publicity for the BBC.

    A licence fee does now seem an outdated concept. There are numerous channels available and people may not want to view the BBC anymore than other live broadcasters. Yet they are still obliged to pay for the services of the BBC.

    Funding should be covered by different means.

  45. Iain Moore
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The BBC traded the benefit of an inflation proofed multi year settlement for taking responsibility of the free licence fee for the over 75s. As they have dumped that responsibility, it should then call into question their multi year settlement, especially as the BBC is adding at least 1/2 billion to its revenue by doing this, and further aggravating the distortion their guaranteed income creates in the marketplace, and pushes us further down the road to the BBC having a monopolistic position on news and current affairs.

  46. Fed up with the bull
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    That should please Andy then. The BBC could start by reducing the ludicrous amount of pay people like Linnekar get. He earns well over a million so by halving his salary that would enable pensioners to keep their free licences.

    I see May has signed us up to zero emissions by 2050. I would have thought if politicians really thought this was so important they would legislate that all new properties had to have solar panels fitted. Forget the subsidy they pay to people at the moment. Just having cheaper energy bills should be enough. I suppose all of us that drive cleaner diesel cars will have to look forward to even higher road tax bills. The government gives subsidies again to those that can afford to buy these cars while making poor and rich people alike pay for it. For solar panels and electric cars the poor are having to pay more for their energy. It is not the government that pays for it, it’s the bill payers. We will make everything more expensive to produce in this country at the expense of jobs while China and India couldn’t give a stuff. Ridiculous.

    • steve
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Agree with everything you have said

  47. Lifelogic
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The BBC should charge only people who choose to watch the BBC propaganda outfit.

    I see that the BBC propaganda outfit (lefty, climate alarmist, big government, pro EU, anti-science, PC, SJW outfit) had Joe Brand calling for anti-EU politicians (Farage one assumes) to be sprayed with battery acid rather than milk shakes on “Heresy”. It was still even on iplayer last night.

    Yet Danny Baker was sacked for a far, far more minor misjudgement clearly done in error and without malice. Brand also had Carol Thatcher sacked for nothing of any substance said in private!

    Lord Hall Director-General yesterday went on and on about “fairness” and being “fair” yesterday. Let me explain to him that what is not fair is charging people for a BBC licence fee when they do not want to watch the BBC! It is also not fair competition. Surely even an Oxford PPE chap can grasp this?

    Boris should say the licence fee is to be scrapped if he becomes PM. Together with all those evil threatening letters they send endlessly.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Has Jo Brand ever said anything remotely funny or intelligent? If so I missed it.

  48. ASW
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Succinctly put. Yes, and please expand the review to include impartiality.

  49. nhgp
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Decriminalise it retrospectively, and force the BBC to compensate its victims.

    After all, isn’t an organisation that promotes throwing acid over people a terrorist organisation?

  50. gyges
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    A large part of the BBC is not fit for purpose.

    Predicated on the assumption that the purpose of the BBC is to project soft power abroad we should keep the world service but nothing else.

    The UK does not need an inept twentieth century propaganda outfit. In an environment of a plurality of truth it is axiomatic that they ‘can’t do right for doing wrong’. No matter what they do it will be resented, more so if they do what they do better.

    Further, the anti-competiveness of local radio is appalling: this is an industry almost completely destroyed by the presence of the BBC.

    “Should the government now decriminalise payment of the licence fee? Should it review BBC funding and spending to see why the BBC cannot afford to meet its obligations to pensioners?” Yes and Yes. With the latterly yes being to remove the funding completely.

  51. Chris
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    In my opinion, our current government/PM will not act for as long as the BBC fulfils a useful purpose to them, namely that it continues with its pro EU propaganda/bias, and its left wing social engineering function which aids the “progressive” agenda of the left leaning metropolitan elite who are in charge of our government at the moment. A radical swamp draining is long overdue.

  52. Alan Joyce
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I am sure that those with better investigative skills than I (Dennis Cooper?) would be able to do a more accurate job, but I have gleaned a few statistics from the internet that might interest your readers. Some will be out of date by now. However, if they are strongly disputed, may I invite an official from the BBC to provide a more accurate picture? It seems, oddly enough, very difficult to get information about pay from the publically-funded body that is the BBC.

    There are 13 BBC executives who earn more than double the Prime Minister’s salary of about £150,000, whose pay ranges from £292,800 to £664,000.

    There are 802 below senior management level of whom over 400 are paid between £77,788 and £92,239. There are 45 who earn more than £100,000. There are 98 who earn more than £150,000.

    A leaked report found that among 1,125 BBC senior broadcast journalists, a rank that covers many junior reporters and producers, the median pay was £49,000, forty per cent more than the average of £35,000 earned by those in comparable roles in the private sector.

    These figures do not include the salaries of the BBC’s ‘star’ presenters whose pay ranges from about £400,000 to nearly £1,800,000.

    Former BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten once joked there were “more senior leaders at the BBC than in the Chinese communist party”. Enough said!

    The BBC says constantly that its service is unrivalled and many would agree. It would be rather shocking if its service was shoddy and poor bearing in mind that it receives a guaranteed circa £5 billion from us all each and every year.

    Surely, with such talent available the BBC could stand on its own two feet without having to rely on the public paying a regressive tax, under threat of imprisonment, to maintain a state broadcaster?

    • Bob
      Posted June 14, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      “The BBC says constantly that its service is unrivalled and many would agree.”

      If that were true they wouldn’t be so scared of moving to a subscription funding model.

  53. Peter Parsons
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    This decision is the consequence of changes imposed by a Conservative chancellor. The Conservatives need to take responsibility for the consequences of their conscious choices rather than attempting to shift the blame onto others. Shameful.

    If Boris Johnson can apparently find £10billion down the back of the sofa to give tax cuts to the highest earners, then the £750 million needed to retain this Conservative manifesto commitment from 2015 and 2017 is presumably available.

  54. bigneil
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    With all the other channels funding themselves, the License fee is just a tax to fund, what has become, the Brussels Broadcasting Company. Anything to do with staying under the EU’s power is good in the eyes of Broadcasting house. Blatantly biased against the people who fund them the provide Question Time – usually four Remainers against one Leaver. The Leaver will constantly get interrupted and talked over, the Remainers won’t. Happens the same on their Local Radio stations as well. The License should be scrapped altogether.

    • Bob
      Posted June 14, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink


      “The License should be scrapped altogether.”

      That is one of UKIP’s policies. Together with scrapping the House of Lords, HS2, IHT, tuition fees, EU membership, stamp duty and overseas aid (to be replaced with emergency aid).

  55. Doug Powell
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    As I have said previously on this subject – The over 75s should demand the BBC undertake a second consultation on this issue! If we don’t get the result we want, then we keep demanding further consultations until we do! Just like the BBC has been peddling for 3 years to reverse the Referendum result! Typical EU tactics – surely they must approve of that!

    Better still, remove this archaic funding system altogether! Let the BBC stand or fall by the quality of its programmes! I wouldn’t mourn its passing! Bring it on!

    • Bob
      Posted June 14, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      “Let the BBC stand or fall by the quality of its programmes!”

      That would be “fall” then.

  56. agricola
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The BBC problem runs far wider than the licence fee. In that context your government are allowing a customer funded business to act as a branch of HMRC, quite unbelievable. It is an example of divesting responsibility to an unaccountable quango.

    The BBC should cut its activities to the extent of its funding. I would put the whole of the news and current affairs department up for sale so that it had to compete with all other news sources on an equal footing. I would have an extensive management clear out. For too long they have run the Guardian on air funded by people who would never read the Guardian or agree with it’s extreme left wing philosophy. The BBCs left wing ethos now pervades both drama, so called comedy and documentaries. Left wing luvies are allowed free rein to spread their propaganda.

    Under any regime I controlled they would be returned, painfully for them, to the original Reithian principals. For anyone opposed to this there would be the option to collect their P45.

  57. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink


    If I buy a TV then it is my decision to watch the BBC as it is to watch SKY, why should I have to pay either of them when I do not want their services? For avoiding the BBC fee I have lived without a TV in my flat for 6 years.

    The BBC should be split up with the world service and perhaps a UK station list such as radio 4 put under a separate company that is government funded. The rest should be privatised. All social and mainstream media needs to keep to better standards, the BBC clearly even fail to be unbiased.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      The BBC should charge only those who use it just like almost any other business. They should also have to sell of all their back catalogue and give all the money back to the taxpayers.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Lord Hall Director-General yesterday went on and on about “fairness” and being “fair” yesterday. Let me explain to him that what is not fair is charging people for a BBC licence fee when they do not want to watch the BBC! It is also not fair competition. Surely even an Oxford PPE chap can grasp this?

        Boris should promise that the licence fee is to be scrapped if/when he becomes PM. Together with all those evil threatening letters they send endlessly. He should also promise big reductions in stamp duty and inheritance tax.

        That should go down well with Conservative Party members and would help the economy too. He should also cancel HS2 and cut out the vast state sector waste (about 50%). Then he should kill all the duff university degrees. No one with less than about AAB’s at A level should be at university and building up £50K of debt. They should be learning a trade or at night school.

    • Hope
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Oh come on JR, your Tory govt has had nine years to sort out the extreme left wing BBC. It allows it to make policy decisions not to be impartial on climate change and Brexit, just two examples! Allowed to employ former Labour ministers at over £400,000 to leading role in the organisation, why when it is meant to be impartial?

      It should at the very least consider plurality rules giving the bias BBC so much coverage of its content compared to other broadcasters. BBC has guaranteed funds irrespective of content or fairness. As a national broadcaster its service should have been peared back and forced to comply with its impartiality charter.

      The Tory government should hang its head in shame for failing to act over nine years!

  58. John Miller
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The BBC must become a commercial organisation. The spurious arguments in favour of a licence fee merely enable a deeply hypocritical socialist organisation to demonise most of the nations’ citizens while paying lip service to left wing principles. The defence of the odious Jo Brand for her rip-roaring jest about throwing battery acid at politicians she despises was the last straw. The BBC repeatedly warns us of rabid right wingers taking over the airwaves and the print presses, corrupting we innocents with their fake news, racism and exhotations to violence, not to mention their crazed,suicidal desire for democracy, when in reality, what they seek to do is distract from their own biased reporting and grotesque “Celebrities” paid handsomely to “entertain and enlighten” us.

    I for one do not wish to be forced to pay Ms Brand vast sums of money to enable her to express her vile and illegal views.

  59. John Sheridan
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The BBC is a bloated organisation that is well past its prime.

    I watch very few of the BBC programmes nowadays and only rarely listen to the BBC radio programmes. Brexit bias is a factor, but it’s not the only driver. Streaming services offer an alternative selection of programmes.

    I would like to see a much reduced license fee for the basic right to watch other TV provider’s live programming, coupled with an optional subscription service to allow people to view BBC’s premium shows.

  60. libertarian
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The BBC has been hung with its own petard

    Scrapping free TV licences and now supporting a left wing comedian whilst sacking another comedian for poor taste “jokes”

    The TV tax must be scrapped totally now and the BBC reformed

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      On 11 June there were three explosions in Malmo,Sweden(there have been 50+ in Q1),attributed to “gang activity”;anyone seen much on the BBC about this?

      (Granted,the Swedish authorities themselves do not seen keen to discuss it.)

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      No just poor taste but truly appalling, revolting and I would have thought illegal. Not that you could really describe her as a comedian

      I have certainly never heard her say anything remotely funny or even intelligent. She is vulgar, unpleasant, wrong headed, lefty and tedious. So right up the “BBC think” street.

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        L/L. Spot on!!

  61. libertarian
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve told my 90 year old mum to NOT pay her TV licence

    She will go to jail where she will get free accommodation, meals and health care all without having to sell her house . Result

    • miami.mode
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, Libertarian, she will probably be pursued by debt collectors long before the jail option and might well succumb to their demands.

      How ironic, though, that she would get free TV in jail and more than likely a prompt ‘home’ visit from a doctor.

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink


    • stred
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      BBC producers seem to be happy about their panelists suggesting that lefties, like themselves, throw acid over Brexiteers and people that they consider extreme. Inciting extreme violence by those people would surely result in a visit by Mr Plod. Failure to prosecute the BBC would indicate that the Met is partial in the case of violence against certain politicians.

    • Enrico
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      And to watch a tv for free?

    • lojolondon
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Even better, do you know that in jail – ironically – you get free TV ??

    • Fred H
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      libertarian…and a newish bed, VERY close library, free heating, unoccupied home rates discount, no cold callers, no door knocking conmen, no politicians stuffing lies into her letterbox. Whats not to like about it?

  62. Spratt
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Yes, and yes, and HMG should do this regardless of the >75 licence issue. The BBC is churning out a combination of drivel and propaganda in both its ‘News’ and its entertainment. It is paying grotesquely inflated fees to so-called talent on the dubious basis that this is the ‘market rate’ when there is actually very little market for them and an endless queue of people who’d love to get the chance to replace them.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Indeed many people would be happy work for the BBC for nothing and many of them would be far better than the current staff.

      The £450K paid to the D.G. is totally wasted as was all the money give to lefty EUphile Chris Patten (appointed under Cast Iron Cameron). Many people would be willing to do it for less than 1/10 of this sum and many if not most would do a far, far better job. His salary alone is 3,100 licence fees PA and that is without the pension. Gary Lineker’s 12,000 licence fees PA.

  63. mongoose
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    There is no financing of the over-75s. There is just an absence of incoming revenue. There is no “cost”.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      good point mongoose!

  64. Iain Gill
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Abolish the license fee completely for everyone. Let the BBC survive in the free market or fail, I for one couldn’t care less either way.

    • Geoffrey Berg
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree. In other countries there is no license fee and there are plenty of channels and the BBC isn’t particularly good anyhow, certainly not worth paying for. When I’m abroad I prefer to watch an American channel such as Fox or even CNN to the BBC.
      Practically everybody in Britain would prefer to have £3 a week (after tax) in their own pocket rather than have it spent or usually wasted by the BBC.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      The BBC is what keeps the UK so appallingly pro high taxes, big government, climate alarmist, PC, expensive energy pushers, pro EU and pro endless over regulation. The Conservatives are very left wing currently as are the Libdims, SNP and Plaid and Labour are clearly Marxist.

      This only persists due to the line the BBC takes and propaganda pushed in schools. Even Gove want to kill choice in education and private schools.

  65. Martyn G
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    It is far past the time that not having a licence should be decriminalised and Capita, the BBC’s chosen bullying enforcement agent should have its powers reduced or removed.
    Not that either are likely to happen, because I suspect that there are too many political vested interests in retaining the BBC as a propaganda arm of governance (supportive of the EU, anti-brexit, climate change etc).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Exactly:- too many political vested interests in retaining the BBC as a propaganda arm of governance (supportive of the EU, anti-brexit, climate change etc).

      Also big government, ever higher taxes, political correctness, unscientific climate claptrap, identity politics, enforced equality regardless of merit, anti-male gender discrimination, pusher for ever more red tape and anti-landlord propaganda ……

  66. Ian wragg
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    The BBC should be a subscription service. It is a left wing mouthpiece for Liebor and the PC brigade

    It is a travesty that we are taxed to fund the likes of Linaker etc. to spout their bile.

    • Chris
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely, i w.

  67. Mark
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    There is a petition on the No 10 website calling for investigation of the BBC for bias that Parliament has been ignoring for debate. It should get on and hold the debate instead of trying to sign us up to trillions of economic damage for zero carbon. Deciding to tax the elderly is just another form of bias.

    I watched the news of this story in the company of elderly relatives. Their reaction was that BBC output is not worth it, and they would simply give up the TV. In their case they could afford it.

  68. Pat
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Further point. If we are concerned about those above 75 being able to afford television the raise their pensions accordingly. That will allow those pensioners that prefer other pleasures to have their choice.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Except currently they have to buy one to watch other channels so have no real choice.

  69. Jack Leaver
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The BBC license fee is fundamentally a grossly unfair tax. A household with a single adult on low income is forced to pay the same as a household with several working adults and multiple TVs not to mention millionaires living in mansions. OAP couples share the license cost out of two pensions but if one partner dies then the full cost has to be paid out of just one pension and in effect the price for them increases by 100%. Also, OAPs are less likely to use other BBC services like iPlayer and web services using smart phones and computers. When you consider that most pensioners will have been paying the BBC tax for 40 years or more, the over 75s in all fairness deserve to be given a complimentary licence by the BBC.
    As for decriminalising payment of the license fee, it should never have been classed as a criminal offence in the first place. It is wrong to threaten people with breaking the law if they do not buy a license just because it is convenient for the BBC to be funded by a compulsory unfair tax. The digital technology is tried and tested for the BBC to become a subscription service and the commercialisation of iPlayer and the vast BBC library could generate billions worldwide. It’s about time the BBC was brought into the 21st century to face true competition from commercial radio, TV and news organisations on an equal basis.

  70. James Matthews
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The government should make the BBC a self=funding voluntary subscription service.

    • Jack Leaver
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Yes James. PBS is an alternative to a subscription service and it works well in the USA. However, I doubt such a funding model would pay for the lavish salaries and pensions enjoyed by BBC staff not to mention the huge payments to their “stars” like Gary Lineker.

  71. outsider
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, there are 2 immediate issues here: should all over-75s have free “licences” and should the BBC nab 500 million pounds of fee money intended for that purpose.
    The benefit was poorly designed. It should have been limited to households with only over-75s (or under 18s) rather than any household including an oldie. It should also have been taxable ( like any universal flat benefit in my view). The concession is certainly of value to those who are just managing at a mite above the minimum income threshold. They will suffer a cut of 2-3 per cent in income. Such benefits should, however, come out of general taxation, either by reverting to a redesigned concession or by raising the minimum income threshold.
    The BBC fashionably claims the young would otherwise subsidize the old but this is only valid if the general licence fee is reduced more or less pro rata. The BBC has recently bought out UKTV, a chain of stations that use a lot of BBC repeats. Most of these are available on Freeview and financed by advertising. A few, I think, are available only on subscription networks. There seems no reason why all BBC Channels and digital programme services apart from BBC1 and BBC2 should not be financed in the same way in order to cut the licence fee for under-75s.

  72. NickC
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    The BBC is so biased it is a waste of time as a news source. It is not just that it heavily slants coverage of migration, gender, Brexit, CAGW, etc, it is also the fact that it leaves out vital information altogether (or is so behind the curve it amounts to the same thing).

    Peculiarly, some people appear to still like the BBC’s output, even though they can’t explain why a third class nationalised quango funded by an hypothecated tax is relevant or worthwhile. In the early part of the C20th there may have been some sort of justification for a monopoly to be controlled by the government/establishment. A century later, with a multiplicity of providers, there no longer is.

  73. miami.mode
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The licence fee was introduced in 1946 and the world has changed since then, but the BBC still greedily retains some of the conditions in place at the time such as non-payment being a criminal offence. This is a ‘criminal’ abuse of power and the whole framework needs looking at particularly in view of other broadcasters who do not have anything like the income stream or monopolistic dominance.

  74. Prigger
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I will not need a TV licence. I shall cancel the TV component of my internet package by and by. The news has become unintelligible even in northern Europe let alone here in the United Kingdom

    • Fred H
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      prigger… won’t miss much. Most of what purports to be news is created by backroom personnel. News should be what has happened, not what is repeated ad nauseum until you might believe it.

  75. Kevin Lohse
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    The BBC’s charter is more honoured in the breach, and the licence fee is an obsolete, regressive tax. The whole sprawling octopus should be privatised as a matter of good governance.

  76. ADAMS
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    The BBC is also in favour of people throwing Acid over politicians they do not like judged by their actions over this employee .
    See so called Comedienne Jo Brand story .

  77. Dennis
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Is there another country in the World that requires yearly payment to have a TV set? I think other countries will be astonished that this system is compulsory and actually exists. I’m sure they will think it is fake news.

  78. Trod
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Yes and yes.

  79. mart
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    BBC news and current affairs tell the liberal London luvvie point of view. BBC drama tells stories from the liberal London luvvie perspective.

    I am not liberal, and I don’t live in London. I don’t want to pay for output that follows their agenda.

    I don’t watch the BBC output any more, I watch things like The Chase and Wheeler Dealers on the commercial channels, but I still have to pay the licence fee for that!

    The BBC should be paid for by subscription, or by advertising, like the rest. Its time has come and gone.

  80. Anthony
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I think this question is the wrong end of the stick. Times have changed. There are many commercial channels that provide good programming. The BBC competes with these channels. Perhaps there could be a commercial, subscription led wing if the BBC and another wing paid for by the licence fee that would continue with radio four and the arts and other programming that the commercial sector probably wouldn’t do.

  81. Tony Sharp
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    You should adopt the UKIP policy of scrapping the BBC Propaganda Tax alias ‘Licence fee’ and let that organisation find its own way in the World by pay per view, they have the technology already and it could be implemented easily.

    The BBC employs over 400 managers, not entertainers, on salaries higher than the PM; it is the largest purchaser of the Guardian and a major Sits Vac advertiser in it as well. All of these roles and purchases could be eliminated to allow it to continue.

  82. Richard416
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Personally I am with those who say the BBC should fund itself. The idea of taxing the TV is a bit old fashioned now that there are hundreds of TV stations out there. If the BBC fulfills some public duty with its TV output I don’t know when it does it, in fact I don’t believe the date they say it is without checking the calendar.

  83. BR
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Yes. They did a deal to get the fee tied to inflation in return for funding the free for over-75s, then reneged on the promise. Disgraceful.

    And a massive YES to ending the outdated concept of enforced subscription to a State-controlled TV service. I have stopped watching BBC news because I simply do not trust a word they say. They have been infiltrated by lefty remainers from top to bottom, with the possible exception of Andrew Neil (who’s on his way out).

    Time to make the BBC compete on the same basis as others. With this move on free licences I believe that it may prove to be a political misjudgement – they have opened the door wide to long-overdue action being taken to decriminalise the licence fee (which is essentially scrapping it in all but name).

    Please take the opportunity – it would be a MASSIVELY popular policy. Perhaps ask the leadership contenders where they stand on this in a public forum?

  84. Chris
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Hope this isn’t too long a comment but it illustrates the absurdity of the current method of BBC funding. True story: three bungalows side by side. One has a widow paying full licence fee. Next has a couple paying full licence fee. Then a couple with an elderly relative, so no fee for three people watching TV in that bungalow.
    One BBC funding suggestion is a percentage levy on income tax so that the poorest in society would pay least, or nothing at all. (similar to Medicare levy in Australia)
    Alternatively, fund it from general taxation, like the ABC in Australia – much simpler and cheaper to administer.
    Please can we also publicise the fact that a licence fee is not linked to possession of a TV set – you don’t need a licence if you never watch live TV on any device. Without a licence you can watch, via the internet, all non-BBC catchup TV, YouTube, Netflix, etc., as well as listen to all radio stations and play DVDs or video files from any device connected to your TV.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Your final paragraph confirms the ridiculousness of the situation, if one should want to watch a couple of minutes of, say, Bloomberg or aljazeera on Freesat and the rest of your viewing/listening is Netfix, Prime etc. on demand one still has to pay £155 to support a biased, uncouth, ill-informed propaganda machine. It needs to go its own way, and it needs to be banned from calling itself British

    • Chris
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      The original Chris here, who did not post the above comment. However, in this case I agree with the points you, the new Chris, is making.

      Would you consider using a different name as I have been posting on this site for some years as Chris and do not want to be attributed with remarks made by another individual?

      I have asked John Redwood to improve the security of his site, so that an individual cannot use a name already registered to the site, but to no avail. It could potentially cause problems, particularly with the monitoring of the internet and people apparently being wrongly blacklisted or worse charged wrongly with some “hate” crime. This is why other sites which value security take steps to prevent two individuals using the same name.

      Reply your other name also appears

  85. Cliff. Wokingham
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    This is a very mean spirited and spiteful move by the BBC.
    Having said that, there is a situation where someone over seventy five years of age lives with their grown up children and the whole household enjoys the free license. Perhaps only households without working age people should receive the concession.
    I still feel there needs to be a grown up debate about just what we want the BBC to provide. Do they really need to provide channels and programs which other broadcasters provide? Do they need to show soaps and game shows or sports?
    Do they need multiple music radio stations which commercial broadcasters provide?
    I don’t think the grown up debate should be restricted to just the BBC, we need the same doing for the NHS and the government in general.

  86. Bob Dixon
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    The BBC should be floated onto the Stock Market. Any one can view for free.

  87. Anonymous
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    After Joe Brand’s R4 acid attack remark isn’t it time that the BBC was abolished ?

    It claims to mock everything but we all know full well what the exemptions are.

    So Nigel Farage will continue campaigning in public knowing that people are being incited to throw acid in his face. Brave man but this will not be acknowledged.

  88. Ian
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Just because you own a device that is ‘capable’ of receiving or recording communications, you have to legally pay the BBC for the privilege. Even if you never indulge in any of the BBC output, how can that be right.

    You can’t walk a way as with other services, you can’t have a say in how it is run, it is not responsible for its actions – it isn’t required to be transparent.

    The BBC now abuses those that funded it creation and if common-sense prevailed they are probably its real owners.

    A dinosaur in a modern world. No longer fit for purpose.

    Let those that want to support it pay and set everyone else FREE!

  89. Helen Smith
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    The real issue is that we have to pay the BBC to watch ITV or Sky channels. I am happy to have stopped funding their left wing and anti Brexit propaganda by downloading content from non BBC sources but many in their 70s, 80s and 90s may not be so comfortable doing this.

    The law must be changed so you only need a licence to watch BBC live.

  90. lojolondon
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    The BBC Charter should be Revoked, for failure to deliver impartial service for decades now.

    Operating businesses like individual channels and local radio stations should be sold off to the highest bidders, and the capital returned to the public purse. Sooner the better, there is no advantage in waiting any longer.

  91. Steven
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Given the ongoing damage the BBC does to the values and discourse of this country, converting them to a subscription model is now a national imperative.

    They have completely given up on political neutrality, so the last remaining shred of a reason to exist has gone.

    The TV poll tax is the most regressive tax on the statute. Protect the poor, John, scrapping this abhorrent luvvie levy.

    Finish them.

  92. ukretired123
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    The BBC became the Blair Broadcasting Corporation in 1997 and has continued in the same cosy bubble ever since. It is the default channel when you switch on your TV in UK even if you don’t want it.
    Andrew Marr was Blair’s preferred interviewer and dominates the Sunday morning political interviews and spectacularly clashed with Nigel Farage just days before the European Elections recently completely ignoring the big rise in poles indicating The Brexit Party phenomenal rise pushing other parties out.
    When folks want to complain it requires filling first filling a web form complaining to a specific BBC web page taking approx 20 minutes and if you don’t request a response and write down the BBC reference response you cannot complain to Ofcom as it requires a delayed BBC response. It is bureaucratic and long drawn out requiring exact time you watched date and program name and nature of complaint, your personal details etc
    As you would guess very few of us have the time to waste on a system designed to deter folks complaining twice for the same thing and your details stored would be investigated by Capita for TV licence paid.
    Also older folks without PCs would be excluded.
    Unlike competitors such as ITV and other commercial channels we can switch but BBC licence fee is a compulsory tax just like car tax for a TV owner.
    This is totally unfair and their undemocratic favouring of EU above UK is subtle and ongoing 24/7 even on local regional news like ‘Points West’ in the South West.
    An example is the EU supporting Blue suited and Top Hat protestor waving either EU flag or the 2 Placards joker waving continuously either side behind a supposedly independent BBC reporter outside Parliament written with ‘Revoke Article 50’ and ‘No to Brexit’ on the other.
    Several times per day and every time outside Parliament!!!

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      I have always found that the best method of complaint is to take your business elsewhere. Which is why I advocate subscription.

  93. Al
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Yes and Yes.

    The BBC already has multiple commercial arms and operations e.g. BBC Worldwide. Its own homepage already shows adverts if you’re outside the British Isles. Transitioning to a more commercially based service via subscription, production for other channels, iPlayer licences or Pay per view channels is all possible, and wouldn’t require that much of a jump.

  94. rose
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    The only justification for the licence fee is if the BBC produces superior programmes to the commercial channels. In better taste, more informative, more educational, preserving our cultural heritage, etc. This hasn’t been the case for a very long time. In fact the BC competes with the commercial channels in being vulgar, pornographic, violent, low brow, and left wing. Therefore there is nothing for the taxpayer to subsidise. Moreover, it seems odd that people should pay a tax to the one channel they don’t watch, which is often the case.

    Perhaps G Brown shouldn’t have granted the perk, but since he did, and since HMG has factored it into the new arrangement with the BBC, it is not now a good look as the BBC always say, for it to be taken away.

    The BBC have only put themselves in an even weaker position by allowing a coarse left wing comedienne to incite life-scarring violence against politicians.

  95. ukretired123
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Late breaking story :
    Prime Minister has called on the BBC to explain why it considered Jo Brand’s comments on throwing acid over politicians “appropriate content for broadcast.”

    That’s not surprising as the BBC likes lots of controversy but this has to be the final straw surely encouraging violence against anyone is the police’s beloved hate crime.
    The BBC chiefs need replacing urgent, drain the BBC swamp!

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      The issue I have is that, one individual was dismissed, quite rightly in my view, for a bad Tweet yet, this other individual seems to get a pass. The joke (sic) was not funny and neither is, or was ever, the teller. On that a lone I think the BBC and the listener is getting poor reward.

  96. SUSAN M
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    There should be no free tv licence for the pensioners. The amount OAPs are costing the country is astronomical.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted June 14, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      I think it bears mentioning how much pensioners are ‘saving’ the country.

      They dont need the services of the Police or NHS for drunkenness on Friday and Saturday nights.

      I suspect they create very little vandalism and graffiti , or commit arson.

      They tend not to riot.

      They don’t go around knifing each other, or carry drugs, and their consumption of heroin and crack cocaine is minimal, if at all.

      I could go on, but it would do me no good. I will never convince people like you.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      You will be old one day soon.

  97. Raymond
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately the BBC is no longer respectable. For instance, the BBC TV drama programmes I have seen are tainted by heavy handed Alice in Wonderland type propoganda. If the BBC is to continue it should be renamed (deleting the British from its title); the implication that it reflects or represents the nation is untrue; therefore it should not be supported by the TV license quasi-tax. I suggest making the TV and online sections commercial, but continuing the radio as public service broadcasting.

  98. gregory martin
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Simple resolution. Allow the fact that the viewer/head of household is of pensionable age be a defence for not purchasing the goddam licence. The existing NI Exemption statement to be used as the basis.

  99. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    The BBC should not be responsible for social policy. That is the Government’s job. Having said that, there is no reason why over 75s alone should be excused the licence fee.

    There is an alternative to the BBC licence fee. Encryptomise the BBC programmes and sell cards that facilitate decryptomisation. I understand that this is the way that Sky subscriptions work. That way, if you don’t want BBC programmes, you don’t have to pay for them.

    Why do we have all these perks for pensioners? E.g
    – Free prescriptions
    – Concession fares
    – Winter fuel allowance
    – Free TV
    – Cheap haircuts

    Why not just pay the elderly a bit more pension and let them spend their own money in their own way.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      1) Many elderly I know think of others before themselves. If these targeted ‘perks’ were removed and replaced by money* they would choose to suffer themselves and give gifts to others (children, grandchildren, charities) – the rationalists would claim they maximize their own utility doing this, I am not so sure. (*Mostly though I agree giving money to people is the cure for poverty, it generates time for better decisions)

      2) It signals society cares (imagine a birthday where you were only given money and not presents).

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      These ‘perks’ are for those who no longer can reasonably work and afford such. Looking after those in society that are least able is a sign of a compassionate civilisation.

  100. Ex-Tory
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    If you or I, or indeed any organisation, were owed money, 99 times out of 100 we’d have to pursue it with a civil claim. There’s absolutely no reason why the BBC should be any different: non-payment of the licence fee should have been decriminalised years ago.

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve received threatening letters from the TV licensing authority demanding money I don’t owe. Any other organisation behaving in the way they do would have been prosecuted for harassment.

    Regarding the licence fee itself, it might be a different matter if the BBC employed presenters on a reasonable salary who could speak proper English. As it is, the license fee is a sick joke.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Ex-tory. I’ve received 3 letters threatening me for non payment when I have a licence and my bank statement shows the direct debit going out.

  101. margaret
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    When many are housebound over 75 and like myself have paid tax from the ages of 16-68, never taken any state money, paid NI as long as they were allowed ,always worked for those who do not contribute to the state for a very modest wage , always paid my own way then they should get help with their final days and relaxing television . Peevish comments like Andy’s reveal who he is.

    • ukretired123
      Posted June 13, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Spot on and well said. Folks making out old folks are scroungers and spongers when the reverse is true is is not on.
      Many have paid into the proverbial Tax/NIC Slot machine of life based on many decades of previous governments promises and never expected the floor to be taken away from them. Breaking that covenant promise sounds like govt reneging on our Armed Forces protection too.
      This will increase lawlessness and tax avoidance in all levels of society. Why should folks believe govt anymore?

  102. Tom Rogers
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    The BBC should be abolished.

  103. Fred H
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    The BBC has removed a Jo Brand joke about throwing acid from its catch-up service after it was suggested that it condoned violence. Thats all right then. I wait for Danny Baker to be forgiven and re-employed.

  104. Jonathan
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Decriminalizing the license fee should be the first step to making it subscription based.

  105. Dominic
    Posted June 13, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    The BBC now represents a direct threat to the lives, liberties and freedoms of the British people. They have dispensed with any claim to neutrality and impartiality and openly provide platforms to people who promote violence and encourage intimidation

    They have become an extension of Labour’s client state and of Labour’s propaganda network

    The next Tory PM needs to smash this virus into the dirt

    Today it’s Farage, tomorrow it could be a sitting MP.

    The Brand joke was pre-recorded. It was broadcast with the fundamental aim of encouraging violence, crushing debate, demonising Brexit supporters and destroying one of Labour’s core political threats ie Brexit Party

    Vile, disgusting and a stain on the UK’s reputation

  106. Daniel
    Posted June 14, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I am paying near to £160 a year for my TV license and do not think a high percent should be used to subsidise free ones for the over 75’s many of whom could afford it better than me and probably value it much higher than me. It is worrying that a conservative politician like JR is not pushing back on the idea of subsides and promoting the effectiveness of free markets to determine consumer outcomes such as television content. A proper market would challenge the BBC better on some of the high salaries it pays and its news content bias.

  107. Tim the Coder
    Posted June 14, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The licence fee should be abolished overnight. Let the Propaganda Channel seek their funding where they will, on commercial terms. with advertisers and subscribers to please, they may just throttle back on the incessant left wing garbage.

    I am angry I have to pay the fee to hear the BBC advocating throwing battery acid in politician’s faces. Don’t you have a direct interest in stopping this, John?

    Let this be the trigger. Killing and maiming politicians is not in the BBC Charter. End it.
    There’s something very Joe Stalin in making the victims of political violence fund it.

  108. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 14, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    If I had the time and money I’d institute a court case against the BBC. My understanding is that, in law, a contract exists when one party supplies a product or service for a consideration. I am forced to pay a consideration but I don’t want the service. I don’t use the service. Being forced to pay for it is extortion and I would like to argue – unlawful.

  109. mancunius
    Posted June 16, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t agree that a tv is an essential. And even if it were, recipients of pension credit are no more deserving than any other citizens: they have not worked and paid NIC for the minimum number of years to earn a pension, and their earnings at retirement age are topped up by the taxpayers to match the basic state pension level.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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