Licence fee: BBC branded 'drain on taxpayer' amid axing plans
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The news comes as the organisation comes under intense pressure following the announcement by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries that the licence fee will be reviewed. In a stark warning to the organisation, Ms Dorries said that “the days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors” were over.
Taking to Twitter to add a further layer of misery onto the broadcaster, GB News presenter Colin Brazier claimed the BBC was biased when it came to Brexit.
He said: “The BBC produces some great content. But too often it has used its power to squeeze local papers and start-ups.”
He added: “It was institutionally biased against Brexit and remains incapable of understanding – and incurious about – folk it considers beyond the pale.”
Some of Mr Braziers fans added to the argument.
Piwep said: “The BBC has been forcing its liberal woke agenda down everyone’s throat for too long. Defund the BBC!”
Richard Wood added: “Totally agree. The BBC has lost its neutral position and lost the admiration of the public.”
He continued: “They are has-beens, finished and irrelevant.”
James H ended by saying: “The BBC has had every opportunity to address licence payers concerns especially regarding their horrendous & biased news coverage but have repeatedly chosen not to do so.”
He added: “Any repercussions they now face have been completely brought on themselves.”
The BBC Charter sets out its four public purposes.
The first of these is “to provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them.”
In keeping with this, the corporation describes itself as “impartial and independent.”
According to a 2018 poll by BMG Research of 1,004 British adults, just 37 percent of people thought the BBC was impartial.
The survey found that people ranked both ITV and Channel 4 above the BBC when assessing a broadcaster’s impartiality.
The perceived partiality of the BBC comes from both sides of the political spectrum.
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In total,22 percent of respondents in the BMG study believed the BBC to favour left-wing views, while 18 percent perceived a bias towards the right.
Opinions likewise differ among differing demographics.
Those over 50 are more likely to view the BBC as being too prone to promoting liberal values, whereas younger audiences view the broadcaster as conforming to a more conservative establishment.
Accusations of left-wing bias and the BBC date back to the 1980s, when the BBC’s reporting of the Falklands War generated the wrath of the Thatcher government.
With the rising influence of social media, the BBC has faced claims that its staff abuse the impartiality of their positions, by promoting personal agendas or political views on their social media accounts.
In 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the BBC should “cough up” and pay for TV licences for all over-75s but the BBC said doing so would force “unprecedented closures” of services. Now, only over-75s on pension credit are eligible for a free licence, paid for by the BBC.
TV licence evasion itself is not an imprisonable offence. However, the government says non-payment of the fine, following a criminal conviction, could lead to a risk of imprisonment – “a last resort” after other methods of enforcement have failed.
Last year, the government decided not to move ahead with plans to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee, but said it would “remain under active consideration”.
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