TV Licensing are saving the hard-pressed licence-fee payer lots of cash by going paperless, or at least that's what they want people to believe.
A press release on their website explains their intentions:
"With the cost of the licence-fee frozen until 2016, the amount people pay for a TV Licence has not changed since 2011. TV Licensing has written to around 14 million Direct Debit customers letting them know they will no longer receive an annual paper licence as long as they automatically renew and pay on time.
"The costs saved by not issuing an annual paper licence to these customers is expected to total £3m over the next three years. The money saved will be used to off-set national rises in postage costs."
PR harlot Stephen Farmer said: "We're always looking to find savings in order to deliver better value for the licence-fee payer.
"By not issuing the annual paper licence to Direct Debit customers TV Licensing will have saved around £5m from the start of the initiative to Charter Renewal in 2016. Those customers won't require a paper licence until 2016 as we know their property is correctly licensed and their payment plans won't change until then."
Before anyone starts celebrating this recent "good turn" by the BBC's militant revenue generation arm, please pause to consider the following:
- By its own admission, TV Licensing has just posted letters to 14 million households to announce that they won't be posting them a paper TV licence over the next two years. In a perverse act of hypocrisy they've used a huge mailshot to boast about saving on future mail costs.
- As the licence-fee has been frozen since 2011, the BBC has already missed the opportunity to avoid issuing two-year's worth of paper licences. Such lack of foresight is sadly very typical.
- £5 million, even if TV Licensing does manage to achieve such a saving, is small change compared to the BBC's recent abandonment of the £100 million Digital Media Initiative and the millions it will have to pay in compensation to sexual abuse victims.
- TV Licensing will still be sending some 21 million threatograms a year, at an annual cost in excess of £5 million, to unlicensed properties. By TV Licensing's own admission more than 80% of those threatograms are going to properties that have no legal need for a TV licence.
Funny how TV Licensing never mention any of those statistics in their regurgitated propaganda pieces!