'Do you believe in the BBC licence fee?' poll discussion



  • As others have said before, the issue is not whether the BBC is value for money or not because everybody has a different opinion on that. The issue is whether it is fair in the 21st century to force people to pay for something they don't want, and clearly it is unfair.
    Personally I think the BBC should be funded by a combination of three sources of income.

    1. By subscription, so those that want it can pay for it.
    2. An amount equal to the amount raised by suscription from
    general taxation.
    3. From the sale of BBC programs and services to other

    The advantage of this system is.
    A. Those that like the BBC and don't want ads are happy.
    B. Those that don't want to watch the BBC don't have to pay for it
    (apart from the general taxation element of course)
    C. The BBC would have to focus on it's core services and stop
    empire building.

    This is just my opinion, any other suggestions?
  • sfocata
    sfocata Posts: 9 Forumite
    I can't understand what all the fuss is about, scrap the licence fee, charge for the service, those who want the Beeb pay and get it, those who don't, don't.

    Fine, but would the principle work fairly both ways? I mean, those who decide not to pay would be denied access to the BBC website and iPlayer as well. Maybe they'd have to pay a surcharge on their Proms tickets. And how about the R&D? We've all benefitted from broadcast and studio technology developed at Kingswood Warren.
  • sfocata
    sfocata Posts: 9 Forumite
    davidabz wrote: »
    With so many radio and television chanels being available on the internet plus English Speaking Broadcasts worldwide The BBC should STOP it's worldwide broadcasting and concentrate on the UK.

    I agree with you when it comes to BBC World... shockingly dull and mediocre way of representing the BBC abroad. Mind you, I'm not sure whether that's funded from the licence fee or local advertising?
  • I have a problem with the question, as option "C: I'd happily see ads fund it" implies that you'd get exactly the same programming, but without the licence fee.

    But once you get ads, then the commercial imperative would rule what programmes get made, and the BBC would become more like ITV: only big audience shows would be produced. The public service aspects of the BBC (Radios 3 and 4, for example) wouldn't make sense commercially and all sorts of things - childrens' programmes, news, current affairs, documentaries etc would be scaled back drastically.

    We all pay for things we don't necessarily use through taxation - eg schools, NHS, pensions. But as a society we mostly all agree that it's important that they're there and freely available. I'm not saying the BBC is as important as those, but there is an argument that certain kinds of broadcasting should be available to as many people as possible.

    I wouldn't want to see a situation where those things would either be lost, or made available only to those who can afford to pay hefty subscriptions.

    On the other hand, the licence fee is essentially a flat rate tax, which is far from ideal, and of course there is huge waste within the BBC. But at the moment, some sort of licence fee seems like the least worst option.
  • aubergine
    aubergine Posts: 51 Forumite
    I'm all for the licence fee, it's what keeps the BBC independent and not dumbing down to the lowest common (Simon Cowell) denominator and not making programmes that are ultimately aimed at selling something but on their own merits. BBC isn't perfect, but a lot of what it does is excellent - I'd pay the licence fee for 6music alone.

    I think it's excellent value for money compared to Sky (which incidentally also makes you pay for a whole raft of channels you don't want to get the ones you do) and far superior quality.

    That's not to say I don't think there's room to cut it a bit by cutting the ridiculous 'talent' and top execs' salaries.

    It would be fairer if you could opt out of BBC, but that would potentially be putting the poor at even greater disadvantage in life being subjected to all those adverts and trashy programmes. And the poorest looking areas seem to have the highest proportion of satellite dishes.
  • MyUtopia_2
    MyUtopia_2 Posts: 28 Forumite
    If I was the one in charge in the policy for the BBC, this is what I'd do.

    1) BBC is a public good, thus everyone should pay. Everyone benfits from it's news service (even if you live in a hole, you still benifit through its independent scrutiny of those in power). I would scrap the licence tax and fund it from general taxation.
    2) BBC should be about nuturing up and coming talent and taking risks on formats/programs that the private sector is not willing to fund. So we should have a student loan type scheme for presenters/creators of shows. Once they get famous/popular, you sell them off to the private sector, and the public gets a cut of their income for the next couple of years. Ross only got famous because licence fee pounds put him their, why shouldn't we get a return out of his £4 million.
    3) Radio one is a commercial station in all aspects except it doesn't have ads. Flog it off.
  • I only watch/listen to BBC output, with rare exceptions, because the adverts drive me nuts! Often I am irritated by the dumbing down and programs such as Top Gear that are aimed at adults with a low mental age. However, I do know where the off switch is and thank goodness no one is forcing me to watch or listen to it! I am happy to pay the license fee but I strongly object to the way it's squandered on outrageous salaries and perks for their employees.
  • mbl1950
    mbl1950 Posts: 5 Forumite
    Heaven preserve the BBC from adverts. I can't think of anything more likely to undermine its independence. The license fee is brilliant value for money and, if anything, it's too low!
  • Fliss_M
    Fliss_M Posts: 695 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Think of how much shorter programes would be if they had ads? Imagine Ashes to ashes with "WE BUY ANY CAR" slapped in the middle. While they cancelled it, would lillies ever have been made if advertisers had been involved? The daft but hillarious antics of Topgear with clarksons monolgue cut off for "this show is sponsered by carcraft". And I have seen BBC shows cut into by ads on Dave and Gold. It isnt pritty. They ether cut the show or lengthen then viewing time. And I love my local radio station. Its theres one thing I cant bare its ads on the radio as i drive.

    And with the poor, if your unemployed its subsidised and if its what, £13 per month, I cant believe that they can fairly not afford it and not be entitled to some sort of subsidy
    4 children, 2 cars, 2 full time working parents, large detached house and the will to save every money saving penny we can
  • In Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, we can only get DIGITAL BBC1 or BBC2 intermittently. I've heard this is fairly normal for here - but why? - I can actually see the Emley Moor mast from where we live?

    We can get BBC1 and BBC2 on analogue channels, but they are very hazy. SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ANALOGUE CEASES? As far as I'm concerned, if analogue ceases, and we still cannot get BB1 & BBC2 effectively, then I will be making moves to cease paying the licence fee until it's fixed. The licence fee is very poor value for money right now. I honestly don't mind paying a £140 licence fee, but I expect to get something back.
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