Why we're here:
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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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Coronavirus Crisis: Suspend the TV Licence

Last night the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson MP, announced strict new measures designed to limit the devastating spread of coronavirus throughout the UK population.

We have not seen such stringent controls and restrictions on our civil liberties since the Second World War, but polls show that the nation overwhelmingly supports the Prime Minister's decision. If we do not take decisive action now the situation will be many magnitudes worse in the weeks ahead.

In anticipation of the announcement an estimated 27 million viewers gathered around their TV sets and tuned in to see history in the making.

The Prime Minister delivered a very simple, life-saving message to the nation: "You must stay at home".

Over the months ahead, as the crisis unfolds, people will increasingly rely on TV coverage to provide an essential stream of information to their homes. Under section 363(6) of the Communications Act 2003 the Secretary of State, Oliver Dowden MP, can make regulations exempting viewers from payment of the TV licence fee in times of national crisis.

We would encourage the Secretary of State to make such regulations at the earliest opportunity.

We are grateful to our reader Chris for providing the text of a letter people can email to Oliver Dowden MP (enquiries (at) culture (dot) gov (dot) uk):
Dear Mr Dowden,

During the ongoing coronavirus crisis, I am writing to ask you to make regulations pursuant to section 363(6) of the Communications Act 2003 temporarily suspending the need for a television licence.

This would achieve the following:

1. Those who are unable to afford a TV licence are unable to obtain live updates or view BBC catchup services about the pandemic unless they choose to break the law. This group in particular needs timely information to help them through this. Suspending the need for a TV licence would allow them to access this information lawfully and as it becomes available.

2. Those who have made a lifestyle choice to not watch live television or BBC on-demand services, and who therefore do not require or have a TV licence, are currently unable to view live updates from the government or any other body. Suspending the need for a TV licence would enable such individuals to access live updates about the pandemic.

3. This would give the BBC a unique opportunity to showcase its content to an audience who would otherwise not see it. Given that the BBC has advertised repeatedly how fantastic this content is, being able to access it would no doubt translate into a renewed public appreciation for the value of the TV licence and a subsequent increase in purchases, renewals and revenue for the BBC once the suspension is ended.

4. We are at the start of an extraordinary global pandemic. Over the challenging months ahead the UK public's timely access to information is critical. The BBC has taken tens of billions of pounds of income from the public over the years. It's time now for the BBC to give back something of immediate value. Drop the need for the TV licence and ensure that information is available to everyone.

I am grateful of your consideration of this matter.

Yours sincerely

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Sunday, 22 March 2020

Coronavirus: Stay Safe Folks

Over the last few weeks the headlines have, quite rightly, been dominated by the spread of coronavirus across continental Europe as well as here in the United Kingdom.

The Government's consultation on decriminalisation of TV licence fee evasion closes on 1st April 2020, so we would encourage anyone wishing to make representations to do so.

Apart from that there has been very little media attention on the BBC and TV Licensing, with media outlets understandably focusing their coverage on the nation's efforts to combat the spread of the disease.

We are aware that as recently as yesterday Capita TV Licensing were still conducting enquiries at unlicensed properties. At this time, more than any other, it is important that the occupiers of unlicensed properties realise that they are under no legal obligation at all to communicate or cooperate with TV Licensing goons calling at their home. We encourage people to keep the door firmly shut on any TV Licensing goon that calls.

People of all political persuasions should recognise that the Government is in an unenviable position at the moment. In the challenging times ahead it will act in the best interests of the British people as a whole, which may not meet with every individual's approval.

Please keep everyone safe by heeding the Government's advice on social distancing and any other measures that come into effect in the days that follow.

Look out for your neighbours, respect our essential public sector workers and stay safe.

God bless everyone and see you all on the other side.

Monday, 16 March 2020

BBC Delays Implementation of Over-75 TV Licence Reforms

The BBC has delayed the implementation of over-75 TV licence reforms.

The delay is as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which is expected to sweep the nation in coming weeks.

Sir David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC, said: "The BBC board has decided to delay changes to over-75s licence fees. We are in exceptional circumstances. Now is not the right time. We are fully focussed on delivering our services to the public at this difficult time."

Over the last few months TV Licensing has been writing to every over-75 TV licence holder to inform them of the new eligibility criteria that come into force on 1st June 2020. From that date, only those over-75 households with an occupant in receipt of Pension Credit will be entitled to a concessionary TV licence.

Under the new rules around 3.7 million households that currently receive a "free" over-75 TV licence will have to pay the full licence fee if they wish to continue viewing TV programmes (or BBC on-demand programmes via the iPlayer). Unsurprisingly, many over-75s are outraged at the idea of having to pay for a perk they now view as an automatic entitlement.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: "I am pleased the BBC has worked with us and agreed to delay their licence fee changes for over-75s from coming in and will keep this under review.

"It will be welcome news to millions of older people who now don't need to worry about their TV licence during this challenging period.

"It is right that the BBC have recognised the exceptional circumstances posed by the Coronavirus outbreak and the need for the whole country to pull together in the national effort."

The BBC has said it will play a vital role in providing the nation with information at this time of crisis.

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