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Government petition to have a referendum on the TV licence

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wild666
wild666 Posts: 2,126 Forumite
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A Facebook group is now advocating a referendum on the TV licence. There is a petition on the government petition site calling for a referendum on the licence fee, if you want to add your name look up the number, 587212, on the petition site or search TV Licence. 
If it gets to 10,000 the government will respond to the petition but if it gets to 100,000 the government will decide on whether to hold a debate on it. 
If the people get a referendum on the licence it doesn't mean that if the people vote to scrap the licence it will be done it is just an advisory for the government that the people don't want to pay for a TV licence.

Someone please tell me what money is
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  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,957 Forumite
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    A response at 10k is just an acknowledgement.  A debate in Parliament (if it gets that far and they may not even do that, especially if it was discussed relatively recently) means just that - a debate.  Doesn't mean it will lead to a referendum.

    As a sidenote it is interesting to look at the "rejected petitions" on occasion on the petitions website and notice just how many people haven't the foggiest idea how government works.  That and the occasional weirdo.
  • noitsnotme
    noitsnotme Posts: 915 Forumite
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    As a sidenote it is interesting to look at the "rejected petitions" on occasion on the petitions website and notice just how many people haven't the foggiest idea how government works.  That and the occasional weirdo.
    That’s an amusing read.  My personal favourite is....  “Ensure Mr Bean represents the UK at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest” 😄
  • roddydogs
    roddydogs Posts: 7,478 Forumite
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    Can we have one on wether to abolish income tax?
  • jaybeetoo
    jaybeetoo Posts: 1,338 Forumite
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    Please, no more referendums!  Look at the damage they do.  We elect MPs to make decisions.  If you don’t like what they are doing, don’t vote for them.
  • Cornucopia
    Cornucopia Posts: 16,190 Forumite
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    There was a previous petition that achieved the necessary 250,000 (ISTR) signatures to have a debate "in Parliament".   The resulting debate was in a side-room, not actually in The Chamber, and more importantly, it was a complete waste of time with lengthy responses from MPs (and Lords?) who simply believe that the Public should have the BBC and pay for it whether they want it or not.

    I'm not now convinced that the TV Licence will be resolved by this kind of democratic action.   It may yet be resolved by Government action, although the urgency seems to have disappeared on that.   There are things people can do:  the most obvious is to cancel your own Licence and make the not particularly great sacrifice of no longer watching the BBC or the scheduled ("live") broadcast versions of other channels.   You can still watch commercial catch-up and video-on-demand.   I appreciate that for some people this will require additional outlay (on streaming equipment and/or better broadband), but for many households this is a no-cost action (indeed, it will save £159 pa).

    For anyone wanting to get more involved...

    - Having gone legally Licence-free and received one or more threatening letters, ask TV Licensing what the legal basis of their threat to visit your home is.   That's a deceptively simple question which they really ought to be able to answer, but IME can't.

    - Also ask them why they aren't respecting your rights under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act (no interference with your privacy and private life at home).   Again, they really should have a stock answer to this, but IME don't.    They should have an answer because case law and official guidelines suggest that it is mandatory.  

    - When you receive an unsatisfactory answer, forward it with a covering letter to your MP.    Optionally, escalate from TV Licensing to the BBC or ask your MP to do so for you.
  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,957 Forumite
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    There was a previous petition that achieved the necessary 250,000 (ISTR) signatures to have a debate "in Parliament".   The resulting debate was in a side-room, not actually in The Chamber, and more importantly, it was a complete waste of time with lengthy responses from MPs (and Lords?) who simply believe that the Public should have the BBC and pay for it whether they want it or not.

    That may have been one of the Committees.  It is still part of "Parliament" as such, which itself does not stop with the chambers.  An act to make it a legal requirement for people wear clown noses and baggy pants in public does not become law until the Queen signs it (with exceptions including for where an immediate response is required to something and there isn't time to bounce it between the two houses in the normal way - like the pandemic for example)
  • Cornucopia
    Cornucopia Posts: 16,190 Forumite
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    edited 4 June 2021 at 3:27PM
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    That may have been one of the Committees.  It is still part of "Parliament" as such, which itself does not stop with the chambers.  An act to make it a legal requirement for people wear clown noses and baggy pants in public does not become law until the Queen signs it (with exceptions including for where an immediate response is required to something and there isn't time to bounce it between the two houses in the normal way - like the pandemic for example)
    There have been some interesting sessions of the Public Accounts and DCMS committees looking at various aspects of the TV Licence, however this was an actual Parliamentary debate in compliance with the Petition rules.   I'll see if I can dig out some video later.

    BTW I don't agree with your Clown Bill, except for Martin Bashir, obviously.  ;)  
  • Cornucopia
    Cornucopia Posts: 16,190 Forumite
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    This is the video of the previous Parliamentary debate that was triggered by a petition that I referred to above.

    https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/d25effd4-66ce-4997-af96-db4b83265051
  • 4justice2
    4justice2 Posts: 571 Forumite
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     This parliamentary "debate" (more like the BBC fan club) confirms why it's pointless waiting for MPs to act. Labour and LibDem tend to be fully behind the BBC. Tories have been at war with the BBC for years, but every time the chance for reform comes up, they do nothing. Look at how they backed down over decriminalising the licence fee recently.
    I'd agree with Cornucopia that the most immediate thing anyone can do is cancel their licence. I've been licence free for ten years, and never regretted it. Problem is many of those who loudly complain about the licence or BBC programmes still pay the fee, and as long as they do, the BBC wins. 
    If anyone's waiting for your MP to act, you'll be waiting a long time.........

  • pphillips
    pphillips Posts: 1,631 Forumite
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    edited 5 June 2021 at 3:51PM
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    4justice2 said:
     This parliamentary "debate" (more like the BBC fan club) confirms why it's pointless waiting for MPs to act. Labour and LibDem tend to be fully behind the BBC. Tories have been at war with the BBC for years, but every time the chance for reform comes up, they do nothing. Look at how they backed down over decriminalising the licence fee recently.
    I'd agree with Cornucopia that the most immediate thing anyone can do is cancel their licence. I've been licence free for ten years, and never regretted it. Problem is many of those who loudly complain about the licence or BBC programmes still pay the fee, and as long as they do, the BBC wins. 
    If anyone's waiting for your MP to act, you'll be waiting a long time.........

    It's really the government that has the power to change the status quo as it's pretty rare for a legislative bill put forward by an individual MP to get to royal assent.

    I can think of a number of circumstances when I would think the government would probably have to step in and act:

    1. The number of households receiving fast broadband exceeds the number that have a TV licence.
    2. The licence fee revenue drops by an amount significant enough to hinder the operation of the BBC.
    3. The BBC gets embroiled in a scandal far worse than than the ones its had before.
    4. The BBC starts dragging over 75’s before the magistrates court.
    5. Something else puts enough pressure on the government, such as a court case or activism.

    I'm optimistic that change is coming, let's hope it happens sooner rather than later!
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