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Should TV licences for the over 75s remain subsidised?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter


    "The BBC could scrap free television licences for the over-75s when it takes responsibility for the scheme in two years’ time, the director-general has said.

    Lord Hall of Birkenhead said the corporation will struggle to meet the £725 million cost of maintaining the subsidy.

    Currently, everyone aged 75 or over can apply for a free licence. The BBC was forced by the government to shoulder the “burden” of the scheme, as Lord Hall described it, as part of its most recent funding deal.

    The BBC will take full responsibility for the costs in 2020. Asked by MPs if he could guarantee that the free licences will remain available, Lord Hall said: “I can’t give you a guarantee it will continue.

    “The concession, as formulated, comes to an end in June 2020. We have got to decide what will replace it.”

    Lord Hall said one option would be to continue funding free licences for all, but the BBC will also consider other options. They could include means-testing to restrict the scheme to those on lower incomes, or removing free licences from those with a spouse, partner or dependent living in the household who is under 75."

    I accept that the BBC has to make ends meet, but is targeting the most vulnerable the only way to balance the books? The government would be outraged if the BBC cut the World Service, which the government finds politically useful. Excellent though the World Service is, why is it being paid for by licence fee payers who live in Britain, when the enormous amount of money it costs could be used instead to fund licences for the over 75s?
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Scrap TV licences for everyone... either adopt a subscription model like Netflix or HBO... or adverts.

    The days of a monolithic, compulsory payment, state broadcaster should be consigned to the scrapheap...
  3. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    Having recently bought property here I am now learning just how downright nasty and borderline abusive the BBC is through its agent, Capita, with regards to the licence fee.

    Telling them you do not need a licence serves no purpose, they say they will come and check anyhow (ie we don't believe you).

    I am planning to tell the agent the same, no I do not need a licence....and hand him notice that any subsequent visit will be billed £20. :D

    (Someone did and took the BBC to court for harassment....won the case and a few hundred quid)

    There can be no justification for a licence fee when we all have access to thousands of channels.
    lanokia and Laphroig like this.
  4. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

  5. sadscientist

    sadscientist Senior commenter

    Should be means tested, as should every other benefit granted purely on the grounds of the age of the recipient. Many over-75s are far from being the "most vulnerable" financially.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Isn't means testing everyone who applies for a free licence going to cost more than would be raised in revenue?
    border_walker likes this.
  7. red_observer

    red_observer Star commenter

    Hardly going to be a money raiser this for government. That suggestion is petty.
  8. sadscientist

    sadscientist Senior commenter

    Why should it? Everyone's income, at any age, is recorded for tax assessment. If your annual income is over (say) 25K, you could be asked to justify why the £75 per year is unaffordable.

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