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TV license consultation

AidanAidan PotatoPosts: 1,453 Fanatical Poster
This consultation is seeking views on whether the Government should proceed with the decriminalisation of TV licence evasion by replacing the criminal sanction with an alternative civil enforcement scheme.

This consultation will close on 1 April 2020 at 5pm. It will not be possible to submit responses after this date and time.
Respond online here 

You have to be aged 16 or over, be sure to have your say if you want things to change!

It takes about 5 minutes or less depending on how long you make your answers.



  • AidanAidan Potato Posts: 1,453 Fanatical Poster
    I think my response was something along the lines of yes we should decriminalise it, and we should enforce it instead by blocking BBC and S4C in homes that don't pay (which might be possible now we've switched over from analogue?).

    I don't think it's fair to have to fund a broadcaster if you don't watch them, and that if I do want to watch BBC I should pay for a subscription or put up with ads.

    I'm interested what other people think! :)
  • JellyelephantJellyelephant Bpd bitch ✌🏼 Posts: 730 Incredible Poster
    Aidan said:
    I think my response was something along the lines of yes we should decriminalise it, and we should enforce it instead by blocking BBC and S4C in homes that don't pay (which might be possible now we've switched over from analogue?).

    I don't think it's fair to have to fund a broadcaster if you don't watch them, and that if I do want to watch BBC I should pay for a subscription or put up with ads.

    I'm interested what other people think! :)
    Sorry if this is dumb but what is S4C? 

    I do not, never have and never will pay for a tv licence. I don’t believe in it, I’m poor and despise the way they threaten and harass people over it. When I was living in a homeless hostel they sent me countless letters about it threatened people were coming round etc and I ripped up every last one of them. I watched tv on my phone using my data. Anyway my tv works fine without a licence. You get taxed every which way, taxed on wages taxed on things you buy or sell you get taxed on the tv you buy and you pay for sky for example but they want you to pay again for a tv licence etc and then use scare tactics to bully people into it. I don’t care if people disagree with me lol it’s my opinion 
    The sun will rise and we will try again 
  • AidanAidan Potato Posts: 1,453 Fanatical Poster
    S4C is some Welsh channel. And on top of all the stuff you said, why should the *TV* license also pay for BBC *radio*?
  • PoppyBPoppyB Posts: 167 Moderator
    Thanks for posting this @Aidan it's a great way to get young people's voices heard. 

    I'm glad that they are consulting on this as I believe a prison sentence is an extremely disproportionate sanction for not paying your TV license, especially vulnerable groups who are unable to pay e.g. the threatening letters only worsen the mental state of those with anxiety.

    I'm also interested to see how much TV license money collect in the future seeing as viewing habits are changing as fewer people are watching live TV and instead switch to Netflix/Youtube etc.

    I do find it interesting that they have chosen to carry out this consultation online given the recent scrapping of free TV licenses for over 75's who are typically more digitally excluded than other age groups...
  • JellyelephantJellyelephant Bpd bitch ✌🏼 Posts: 730 Incredible Poster

    i agree tbh i cant remember the last time i watched actual tv i tend to watch netflix or nowtv lol
    The sun will rise and we will try again 
  • AidanAidan Potato Posts: 1,453 Fanatical Poster
    edited February 11
    Thanks @PoppyB I agree we really need to get our voices heard on this!
    Prison for not paying a TV license is totally out of proportion but I think a lot of people want (and I agree with them) for the BBC to fund itself through a subscription or through ads too going that one step further. Paying the BBC to watch all TV is like paying Ford to drive any car.

    I can think of a few reasons the BBC has fallen out of favour:
    • General trend from live TV to other platforms
    • BBC execs were aware of sex offenders like Saville and did nothing
    • Impartiality of the news
    • Threatening and harassing behaviour
    • Low value for money (£108 a year for netflix, or £155 for BBC?)
    • Unfair you have to pay for BBC to watch all TV
    • Unfair the TV license funds radio
    • Unfair other people can get BBC World for free, funded by the TV license

  • AidanAidan Potato Posts: 1,453 Fanatical Poster
    "impartiality of the news"
    Or lack thereof lol
  • independent_independent_ Boards Legend ScotlandPosts: 1,239 Fanatical Poster
    I was wondering where I could find a link to this so thank you for posting it @Aidan.

    I too think prison is wayyyyy too harsh for not paying for channels that you might not even watch, or radio stations that I certainly won’t listen to anytime soon.

    My disability means I get it half price (well my parents do, it’s just in my name haha) so it’s slightly more affordable for me and reasonable but I do think not paying it should be decriminalised like not paying your council tax is a civil offence so why isn’t this? It’s only a bloody TV!! 
  • Ed_Ed_ Posts: 145 Staff Moderator
    Some really interesting views here, great thread Aidan :3

    It's definitely been a debate for quite a while and the emergence of streaming platforms in the last decade has made a massive change in how people consume content. It does feel very heavy handed to have prison sentences for failure to pay, but also would be interested to know how many people have actually been prisoned and wonder whether in reality, other penalties are used instead. 

    Just adding some thoughts into the Netflix v BBC comparison, I was reading somewhere about this which made some good points around it actually not being the most helpful comparison, for a number of reasons, tried to find the link as it explained it quite clearly but couldn't so you'll have to make do with my memory  :#
    • Netflix is a privately funded company that has been running at massive losses (debt estimated at $12 billion) so they are able to use private investment to build content portfolios at a cheap rate to the consumer.
    • Netflix doesn't provide news broadcasts, radio, live sport, podcast or website content, all quite costly things to operate, and so there is quite a big difference in the amount of content you get in return for the fees.
    • The BBC fund local news services which are important parts of building local communities, whilst also employing people across the country, creating pathways into journalism.
    • On the BBC world point @Aidan, for BBC content outside of the UK, they are allowed to advertise, so whilst it may be free to the consumer, it is a revenue source for the BBC, which funds their operations.
    It's interesting when it comes to impartiality, as it is one of the things that is most admired about the BBC from people outside of the UK, and in some respects something quite rare, a state broadcaster that is independent from government. It feels super important in the current world climate that we maintain a source of news that is independent and impartial. That being said, it does feel like a tricky balance for the BBC to maintain, partly because the government holds a lot of power over them in terms of charter renewal and things like the licence fee. It feels like the government have used this power a lot more in the last decade to try and force more favourable coverage.

    The thing I find interesting is that you see both sides of the political divide say that the BBC are biased against them, which makes me wonder two things. Firstly, is it that the BBC are doing a good job of going down the middle to get these accusations, and secondly, does the polarisation of politics mean that it is hard to truly be impartial, as people are increasingly wanting you to chose a side?

    I think where the BBC have gone wrong in the impartiality side is that they have become too bogged down in creating balance, and so want to provide people in discussions from both sides of an argument, yet they seemingly don't put any weight in terms of the authority of the voice. For example, there have been times where they have run stories on climate change and have interviewed a professor in environmental sciences, alongside somebody with no credentials or evidence, but happens to believe that climate change is a hoax. This if anything is a major imbalance, giving equal weighting to two people with massively different levels of evidence and expertise. It feels like they need to move back more towards this kind of approach:

    "If someone says it's raining, and another person says it's dry, it's not your job to quote them both. Your job is to look out the f'ing window and find out which is true." -Sally Claire

    So this has got pretty long, and feels like I am more pro-licence fee than I am, just thought it would be interesting to through a few extra thoughts into the ring :3 
    "You've just got to carry what you can, Have the heart of a giant but know you're a man. Start small, grow tall."
    Little Giant ~ Roo Panes
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