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This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

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Saturday, 28 February 2015

MPs Recommend Alternative BBC Funding Model

BBC TV Licence Fee

An influential committee of MPs has decreed that there is no long term future in the current funding model for the BBC.

The BBC is currently funded by the £145.50 TV licence fee. Since the enactment of the Broadcasting Act 1990, the BBC has performed the function of the statutory Television Licensing Authority. This means the BBC is legally responsible for the administration and enforcement of the same TV licence system it relies on so heavily for income.

Legally speaking, a TV licence is required for every property where equipment is installed or used to receive TV programme services. The TV licence fee is used exclusively to fund the BBC, but has to be paid irrespective of the channel a person chooses to watch. This absurd anachronism means a person could spend hundreds every year to enjoy premium channels on Sky, but still have to pay a TV licence fee in support of the BBC.

In its long awaited Fourth Report into the Future of the BBC, the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee astutely deduced that the TV licence fee was becoming "increasingly harder and harder to justify" given technological advances and media changes.

The report tabled a number of alternative funding models, including advertising, subscription services and direct taxation.

The report also recommended the abolition of the BBC Trust, which in recent years has ineptly lurched from one crisis to the next. Further crises are undoubtled on the horizon, not least the publication of Dame Janet Smith's review findings into Jimmy Savile's decades of sexual abuse within the BBC. It goes on to say that the Trust should be replaced by a new unitary board with full responsibility for corporate governance and operations.

Unlike the current situation, where the BBC is effectively accountable to itself, the new BBC Board should be subject to rigorous and independent scrutiny by a new Public Service Broadcasting Commission. The media regulator Ofcom should become the final arbiter of complaints about the BBC's impartiality and accuracy.

Even though an increasing number of politicians are aligning their position against the TV licence fee, there will be no changes in the foreseeable future.


Anonymous said...

The report clearly states their preference is for a Broadcasting Poll Tax—a payment like Council Tax on every property whether live TV is being watched there or not.

To my mind this shows just how out of touch the BBC and MPs are.

Chris said...

Anon: agreed, I note that the theme is NOT "Technology has moved on and it is no longer appropriate to request license fee payment for some of it", but instead it is "Technology has moved on and the license fee doesn't cover it so people are "evading" it using a "loophole", how can we bring in a new model which catches them too?"

A general levy would be no different to changing to law now to say that all households must pay the license whether or not they watch live TV.

Also the argument that the BBC is has a public duty is bogus - those who do not pay the license fee now already are not served by the BBC. Let the BBC go subscription at a cost of 145.50 per year. Anyone bleating that this will lose them money is a tacit admission that the BBC are currently being subsidised by people who do not care for their output. In any market that would be simply unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

I will NEVER pay a compulsory broadcasting tax or anything even remotely resembling one.

If they add it to council tax then I will stop paying the ENTIRE council tax.

TheKnightsShield said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Live broadcasted television is a form of ENTERTAINMENT. Those not receiving LIVE BROADCASTS should NOT be penalised, or chased for payment, by ANYONE. The BBC are in the news and ENTERTAINMENT business, they are not a branch of the government, so they shouldn't be funded as if they were.

A subscription based payment method is the ONLY way they should be funded. PERIOD. They should either accept a subscription payment system, or go take up knitting.

Götter Dämmerung said...

The BBC fear TheKnightsSheild. Auntie dipped it's toe into subscription waters back in the early 90's with BBC Select (Christ I'm showing my age!) and it's take up was poor mainly due to the fact they aimed the content to a professional audience rather than the nation as a whole.

So all this bullshit they keep trotting out about not being able to produce set top boxes etc is just bluster as they have tried subscription in the past albeit limited and got their fingers burned.

Even if the government backed plans now to scrap the TV Licence it would not happen overnight.

The BBC would kick and scream that they need "time" to adjust and put measures in place to become a standalone subscription service and would call for the TV Licence not to be scrapped immediately to allow them to do this.

You'd be looking at 2020 at the earliest before the BBC would be totally weaned off the public teat and that is if the government acted now.

Richard said...

If the BBC is as good as it likes to think it is, people will queue up to buy subscriptions, so that's the funding problem solved right there. Please, Mr Cameron, don't force me to pay, through central taxation, for a service that I not only don't use but actually abhor as a blot on our civilisation.

Anonymous said...

Over the last few years the BBC has moved and acted (or not acted) to position itself so it can justify a blanket fee regardless of TV ownership.
Cleverly and dishonestly, it has position the iplayer without any actual controls (other than very basic geographical ones) to who can view content. For example there's nothing stopping a person without a TV license watching live TV on iplayer.. yet all it would take would be a 'Enter the serial from your TV license' to access live BBC content. Not foolproof but at least a step. Cynically, BBC has made no attempt to restrict usage and hence now uses this justify they are universal.
Basically a BBC land grab on the Internet and media.