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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Saturday, 11 July 2020

Government Minister: Decriminalisation of TV Licence Evasion Will Happen


A Government Minister has reportedly told the Sunday Express that decriminalisation of TV licence fee evasion will happen.

The move comes just a few days after the BBC confirmed it will renege on its charter agreement by removing the universal over-75 TV licence concession.

As the legislation currently stands, it is a criminal offence for a person to install or use a television receiver in a property without a valid TV licence. Additionally, from 1st September 2016, it is an offence to download or record BBC on-demand programmes in a property without a valid TV licence. The maximum penalty for the offence is £1,000 fine, but sentencing guidelines mean anyone convicted is rarely fined more than about £200.

The BBC relies heavily on the threat of criminal conviction to coerce people into paying the £157.50 annual fee, irrespective of their legal need to do so.

The Corporation estimates that it will lose £1 billion over five years if that threat is lifted from TV licence fee evaders.

During the Conservatives' general election campaign the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson MP, spoke of his ambition to reshape the future funding and governance of the BBC.

"At this stage we are not planning to get rid of all licence fees, though I am certainly looking at it", the Prime Minister said.

"But you have to ask yourself whether that kind of approach to funding a TV media organisation still makes sense in the long term given the way other media organisations manage to fund themselves.

"The system of funding out of effectively a general tax bears reflection. How long can you justify a system whereby everybody who has a TV has to pay to fund a particular set of TV and radio channels."

Barely a week into the job, the newly installed Government announced that a consultation would take place on decriminalising TV licence fee evasion. The consultation ran for eight weeks from the start of February. According to reports it received in excess of 100,000 responses - including our own, which we shall publish in a future article - demonstrating the strength of public opinion about the TV licence fee. The consultation closed on 1st April 2020 and its findings will be reported later this year.


At the start of June, two months after the closure of the consultation, Glasgow University history undergraduate James Yucel captured the public imagination by started his own campaign to decriminalise TV licence fee evasion, somewhat after the horse had already bolted.

Even so, the DefundTheBBC campaign has snowballed and attracted widespread support across several social and conventional media channels. It is doing a tremendous job of heightening the public's awareness of the political bias, corruption and profligacy of the BBC.

Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood, told the Sunday Express: "Arguably the single biggest threat to the BBC is not it going back on its word about the licence fee, but rather its own internal bias. The BBC is meant to be an impartial organisation, but despite this, even figures that we consider faces of the BBC acknowledge this is not the case.

"The BBC's handling of recent events has only served to reinforce this further. Who can remember a time where the majority of a question time panel voted to leave the EU, despite the majority of the British people voting to do so? Who can forget the openly biased attack launched by Emily Maitlis against the Government on Newsnight a few weeks ago?"

A BBC spokesperson said: "Decriminalisation of the licence fee could cost the BBC up to £1 billion over five years and have a big impact on programmes and services. The vast majority of people pay the licence fee voluntarily, but as a universal service we need an enforcement system with appropriate sanctions otherwise it is unfair to those who do pay. A detailed Government-commissioned review (the Perry Review of 2015) has already found the current system is the fairest and most effective."

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Free TV Licence Extension for Manx Over-75s


The BBC has confirmed that controversial reforms of the over-75 TV licence in the United Kingdom will not take place in the Isle of Man until 2021.

With effect from the 1st August 2020 only those UK over-75s in receipt of Pension Credit will be eligible for a concessionary TV licence.

Some 3.7 million households that currently receive a "free" over-75 TV licence will have to pay the full licence fee - a current cost of £157.50 - if they wish to continue viewing TV programmes (or BBC on-demand programmes via the iPlayer).

Opposition has been mounting since the BBC announced the 1st August UK implementation date, with a leading old people's charity threatening a campaign of direct action against TV Licensing.

Funding arrangements for the over-75 TV licence are slightly different on the Island. As in the UK, every over-75 household is currently eligible for a concessionary TV licence. The Manx Government picks up two-thirds of the cost and the BBC begrudgingly stumps up the remaining third.

A TV Licensing spokesman said: "The BBC recently confirmed that it will provide free TV licences to Isle of Man residents who are aged over 75 until the end of 2020.

"Pensioners who are already aged 75 or over and have received a normal or short-term licence up to the end of May 2020 are assured that this has been extended to July 2020.

"A short-term licence running to the end of December 2020 will be automatically issued in due course. Island residents who turn 75 from the end of July can also apply for a free TV licence that will run until the end of the year.

"The BBC will carry out a consultation process later this year on the future provision that will apply for Isle of Man residents from the start of 2021."

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Friday, 10 July 2020

Pensioners Threaten Campaign of Direct Action Against Cruel TV Licence Reforms

Pensioners have vowed to paralyse TV Licensing in protest at the BBC's decision to strip them of their concessionary TV licences.

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). A limited concession will still be available to those households with at least one over-75 occupant in receipt of Pension Credit.

The BBC has just confirmed that the changes will come into effect on 1st August 2020, despite widespread public and political opposition.

Dennis Reed, Director of the Silver Voices campaign group, has tonight confirmed that direct action against TV Licensing will start within a few weeks.


The campaign will encourage over-60s to act in support of the over-75s by:
  • Cancelling any TV licence payment made by Direct Debit and electing to pay by cheque instead;
  • Only communicating with TV Licensing by post, instead of using electronic means.
The group hopes this action will snarl up TV Licensing's administrative operation, thereby reducing the organisation's capacity to process TV licence payments. It hopes the additional costs and inconvenience incurred by TV Licensing will make the BBC realise that it is cheaper to maintain the universal over-75 TV licence concession.

Mr Reed said: "Silver Voices is calling for all over-60s to take action to support the over-75s.

"From 1st August all over 60s in the UK will be asked to withdraw from Direct Debits and standing orders and advise TV Licensing that they will only settle their licence fees by cheque/cash and post in future.

"Guidelines will also be issued on 'creative but legal' ways to complicate payments further.

"The intention will be to increase the costs of collection and enforcement to such a level that the Government and BBC will be forced to rethink this cruel policy."

The BBC has previously confirmed that a special outreach team - managed by TV Licensing operations contractor Capita - will target pensioners claiming to be eligible for the new version of the over-75 TV licence.

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