BBC’s quest for licence fee dodgers costs the taxpayer £9m a year – ‘Fee has to go’

GB news presenter calls BBC licence fee 'morally unsustainable'

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In 2020, the broadcaster sent out 111,959 enforcement notes each working day for a total of 34 million letters throughout the year. The total post bill, revealed by a Freedom of Information request, reaches £9.25m just for letters in 2020, the Sun reports.

Due to being the country’s primary public broadcaster, the BBC is in charge of dealing with the administration of collecting TV licence fees.

The taxpayer contribution is guaranteed to continue until 2027.

“These letters generate more funds than they cost to send, so more money can be spent on programmes and services,” a TV licensing spokesman said.

However, John O’Connell, of campaigners TaxPayers’ Alliance, is in favour of a suppression of the licence fee.

“People are being chased for an ever-more expensive TV tax when hard-up households are struggling to make ends meet.

“Heavy-handed enforcement like this shows why the licence fee has to go.”

According to the latest research from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, the free-market think-tank, the TV licence fee has risen by £13.50, or just over nine per cent, since 2016.

The organisation believes the rise and prominence of streaming services, such as Netflix and Disney+, have also made the BBC obsolete in today’s television marketplace.

In a statement outlining its vision, the Taxpayers Alliance said: “A smaller state-funded BBC – producing output focused on high culture and serious news – appeals to many.

“Yet this is not what the BBC has been for some time.

“Licence fee money is used to allow the BBC to compete in the commercial market, eliminate local media outlets through its regional stations, and chase a youth audience which is rapidly turning away from traditional public service broadcasters to services such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube.”

Currently, the cost of a TV licence in the UK is £159 for a colour licence if someone were to pay full-price and £53.50 for a black and white licence.

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Discounts off the licence fee are available to some vulnerable groups if they meet the eligibility criteria.

The BBC refused to continue over-75s’ free licences but anyone who is at least 75 years old and receives Pension Credit will be able to claim a free TV licence.

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