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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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Monday, 3 February 2020

BBC Announces TV Licence Price Hike

The BBC has announced that the TV licence fee will increase in line with the rate of inflation from 1st April 2020.

The fee, which is set to rise from £154.50 to £157.50, is set by the Government. The Government agreed to the increases when the BBC's Royal Charter was renewed on 1st January 2017, but the national broadcaster has reneged on its side of the bargain by tightening up the eligibility criteria for the over-75 TV licence.

The cost of an annual black and white TV licence will increase from £52 to £53.

A TV licence is required for any property where equipment is used or installed to receive TV programmes at the time they are shown. Additionally, from 1st September 2016, a TV licence is required to watch on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer.

The BBC, as statutory Licensing Authority, is responsible for all aspect of administering, collecting and enforcing the TV licence fee. It performs this function under the name of TV Licensing.

The £4bn raised by the fee is used exclusively to fund the BBC, so it's hardly surprising that the BBC extols the popularity and value of this despised regressive tax.

A press release on the BBC website says: "The new licence fee amount equates to just £3.02 a week or £13.13 a month, for which the BBC provides nine national TV channels plus regional programming; 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations plus dedicated Nations radio services; one of the UK's most popular websites; the radio app BBC Sounds; and BBC iPlayer. In the last financial year 95% of the BBC's controllable spend went on content for audiences and delivery, with just 5% spent on running the organisation.

"Hit programmes last year included 18.5 million tuning in for the Christmas return of Gavin & Stacey, whilst an audience of 28.1 million watched the BBC's coverage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. There were a record 4.4 billion programme requests on BBC iPlayer, and the BBC's election coverage culminated in 23 million people watching the results programme, 39 million visits to our news website the following day, and 100 million for BBC online overall that week. Other popular shows included Line of Duty, Fleabag, Luther, Strictly Come Dancing, Dr Who, EastEnders, Seven Worlds One Planet, Match of the Day and coverage of Wimbledon."

The price hike coincides with the removal of the over-75 TV licence concession from 3.7 million pensioner households. In a recent opinion poll more than three quarters of over-75s said they would be prepared to boycott the fee when the new eligibility rules come into force on 1st June 2020.

The new Government has made no secret of the fact it is seeking to radically reform the way the BBC is funded.

The culture secretary, Baroness Morgan of Cotes, will give a speech on Wednesday on the future of media and broadcasting, in which she is expected to launch a consultation on whether to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee.

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