Should the TV licence fee be scrapped?
in MoneySaving polls
97 replies 8.3K views
Former_MSE_Debs Former MSE
Poll started 29 Oct 2013
A TV licence costs £145.50 a year for any home with a colour TV, regardless of whether you watch the BBC or not (see TV Licence Saving). But all the money raised pays for the BBC - that's TV, radio, regional programmes, BBC Online and their associated costs (full details).
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps sent a warning shot to the BBC this week about the licence fee, saying he would consider opening up the cash so other broadcasters could apply for some.
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It's a shame that people no longer value the BBC as being different from commercial broadcasters like ITV, but that's probably the fault of the BBC themselves.
Years ago I would've argued that the BBC was a lot more than just ITV without the adverts, but as they've actively tried to compete with shows like the X-Factor by putting out their own dross I don't think you can really say that anymore.
They have done so to justify the licence fee, e.g. "We're making TV that people want to watch - look at our great viewing figures" but all it has really done is removed some of the reason for it to exist. I don't care what anyone says - it's not in the public interest to vomit Hole in the Wall over our TV screens just to take eyeballs away from whatever rubbish ITV happens to be putting on at the time. The BBC's job shouldn't be to act as a tabloid and give people whatever will catch their interest for 5 minutes.
Personally, I think the BBC website is worth most of the licence fee on its own, but with shockingly low quality TV output (e.g. any current BBC comedy you could care to mention) and their impartiality when reporting on the news called into question, I can see why people begrudge paying it.
I would however not mind at all to continue paying to actually watch the BBC (thus on a subscription basis). The only problem I foresee already is that there will be many "unsubscribers" causing a loss in revenue and therefore a loss in programming quality (unless they start agreeing to a little bit of advertising??).
scrap the licence fee and fund from general taxation
That would get rid off all the costs and resources involved in collection of the fee, court time for evaders etc so the total cost of providing the same income would be less, the massive TV licence database could also be deleted and retailers would not have to waste time getting TV buyers details to pass them on.
With the growth of "catch-up tv" the licence will soon have to be extended anyway, probably to include broadband, to maintain the same level of income.
The licence fee was granted royal consent to the BBC , the fact that the Beeb think you should pay them a fee to watch other completely unrelated channels now or face imprisonment and hefty fines shows how corrupt it has become , good riddance to bad rubbish!
If you took C4 group, ITV, Sky Atlantic & Arts, there can't be much left that the BBC has genuinely all to itself - perhaps they are able to spend just that little bit more on films and docs for BBC Four than anyone else can, but that's probably it.
Personally, I don't see a lot of party political bias on the BBC. Certain presenters can't seem to resist putting down whatever hapless politician happens to be in front of them at the time, and whilst I think that's pretty pointless, it does seem to be party balanced.
I do perceive bias in the "big issues". The BBC has an active agenda with Climate Change, Multiculturalism, Europe, America, and the Middle East. Whilst any of those issues are open to multiple legitimate angles, I don't think the BBC should be taking sides (more often than not from a left-liberal perspective).
Add to all of that the questionable legality and social (ir)responsibility of its Licence Fee enforcement regime, and I think there is plenty of reason to look for reform of the BBC.
Because of the delay!
If I had my way I wouldn't have one. The mrs is frightened of the knock on the door.
You need a licence if you watch or record TV broadcasts.
That's not a great reason. And they have no real powers, anyway.
Retailers don't need to inform TVL anymore. That was abolished some months ago.
Not sure if retailers in practice have stopped asking customers for their information when purchasing a TV but they're no longer required to by law. If a retailer does, then the customer should shop elsewhere in my opinion.