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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.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Monday, 6 July 2015

Government Reaches Compromise With BBC Over TV Licence Settlement

Well, well. This is embarrassing.

After numerous commentators, the TV Licensing Blog included, saying that the Government was about to suck it to the BBC, it appears the Culture Secretary has developed last-minute collywobbles.

Speaking earlier today, John Whittingdale MP outlined a watered down version of his vision for the future funding of the BBC.

Broadcast magazine, one of our favourite periodicals, has helpfully summarised the key points as follows:

1. The BBC has agreed to shoulder the £650m annual bill of the "free" over-75 TV licence. Some 4.5m UK households are eligible for an over-75 TV licence, by virtue of the fact that at least one occupant meets the age requirements. Under current arrangements the Department for Work and Pensions covers the cost. The BBC will begin shouldering some of the cost from 2018/19, before footing the full bill in 2020/21.

2. In a shock move, the Government has agreed that the cost of a TV licence will increase in line with the CPI rate of inflation. The annual fee has been frozen at its current level, £145.50, since 2010 and it was widely expected the freeze would continue into the new BBC Royal Charter. It appears the Government has accepted the BBC's opinion that an increase in TV licence revenue is needed to sustain its payment of the over-75 fee.

3. The Government has agreed to bring forward plans to close the so-called "iPlayer loophole". Under current legislation a TV licence is only needed for those properties where equipment is used to receive "live" broadcast TV programmes. A TV licence is not required where equipment is used solely to watch non-live catch-up services, such as those delivered via the BBC iPlayer. From a technical point of view, it remains unclear exactly how payment for iPlayer services will be administered and enforced.

4. The Government has agreed to phase-out the BBC's current £150m annual contribution to the roll out of superfast broadband services.

5. The Government has said it will "consider carefully" the case for decriminalising TV licence evasion. A leading barrister, David Perry QC, is currently undertaking a root-and-branch review of the system of TV licence enforcement. Perry's review is due for publication within the next few months and the Government will respond to its recommendations in due course.


Chris said...

It's a stunning piece of misdirection, to create something (iPlayer) that the license fee doesn't cover and is totally unrelated to, provide it for free as part of a commercial structure, then moan that people aren't paying for it, to the point that it is seen as a "loophole". A loophole would be using a technicality to avoid paying for a license that you should be paying for. The TV license laws are clear, and iPlayer does not feature. It is not a loophole at all.

Imagine the Environment Agency moaning that people are using a "loophole" to avoid paying for a rod license by buying their fish from Tesco, and then getting the "loophole" closed by charging people for something they never needed all along.

Imagine the DVLA moaning that people were avoiding paying for a HGV license by using the "loophole" of catching the bus on a free pass, then charging them for an annual HGV license to close the "loophole".

Imagine the police calling round to say you need a firearms license because you've been using a "loophole" of watching Bruce Willis fire a gun, so now you have to pay for a firearms license to ensure this "loophole" is closed.

All ridiculous examples but the BBC's is real.

Anonymous said...

So now every computer is potentially "installed" for the "purpose of receiving iplayer" and will require a license? I bet the BBC are licking their lips

TheKnightsShield said...

Sorry to say this, but I saw this coming a mile away. The Government has sold it's soul to the devil, just for the sake of a favourable view (read: biased) in the media. If they truly cared about the tax payer (the people paying for the BBC's rich lifestyle), they would have cancelled the licence fee years ago. Now it's perfectly clear that they don't give a damn.

Since when did the Goverment give in to the demands of an ENTERTAINMENT outlet?! I hope the BBC and the Government enjoy their little arrangement. In the likelyhood the BBC shove their foot completely down their collective throats, I really hope they take the members of parliment responsible for this charade with them.

And decriminalising the licence fee?! Not likely to happen now in light of these new developments. The BBC will do everything in their power to make sure it never happens and our pathetic Government will bow to their demands.

Anonymous said...

So now we will have the crazy situation where we neeed a TV Licese for a phone.

Anonymous said...

They can change their rules as much as they want. I don't watch live TV. Infact I don't even watch TV full stop save for DVD's and youtube videos I have downloaded and then re-played on my nice 56" flatscreen TV.

The simplest way to slay the beast is to stop feeding it.

Fred Bear said...

It looks like the BBC is finding it hard to get convictions in Northern Ireland:


Fred Bear said...

People in Guernsey not paying their TV licence and getting off scot-free.


I'm shocked, shocked!