Britain’s largest broadcasting union has joined the Mirror-backed campaign to save free TV licences for the over-75s, as millions of older people risk being disrobed of the benefit after the Tories gave responsibility for funding the perk to the corporation from June 2020.
But pensioners and campaigners are battling to save the necessary lifeline, and the Bectu broadcasting union is supporting the campaign, and it rebukes the Tories for U-turning on a 2017 election promise to keep the benefit for the remainder of this parliament, even though it had already given funding accountability to the BBC.
The Government made a manifesto commitment to safeguarding free TV licences for over-75s and now it is washing its hands of its own welfare obligations and expecting the BBC to pick up the tab, and that’s utterly unacceptable.
Not only should the government still meet the cost of any concessionary licence scheme, but there should also be a broader discussion about funding methods for the BBC so that everyone can be sure that its fate as a treasured and necessary public service is safeguarded.
Households with a member over-75 automatically qualify for a free licence, saving them £150.50 a year, but it’s not just about the money. Many older people end up being on their own and are pretty isolated from the community particularly if they’re disabled or even worse housebound, and anyone over the age of retirement should be permitted to have their TV licence for free because sometimes it’s the only thing they have left in their life.
But under the overhaul, the benefit could be restricted to save the BBC money, under a stitch-up where the Tories have sought to evade responsibility.
The cost is estimated to hit £745 million-a-year and Auntie is deliberating on whether to restrict free licences, means-test them or axe them all together, and the decision to shift the cost to the BBC was exercised in 2015.
But the Conservatives pledged in their 2017 election manifesto to protect the benefit, and Bectu’s submission to the BBC consultation makes the case for Whitehall to carry on financing the perk.
This concession is a benefit and, as such, liability for its funding should regress back to the government and not the BBC, and there might be a significant bearing on quality if the BBC is made to divert cash from programming and danger of jeopardising the future of a raft of major public service programming.
Free licences for the over-75’s play a significant role in promoting social integration, tackling isolation and improving quality of life for older citizens, highlighting the Tories broken election promise.
However, since establishing a government, they have assured the BBC that it will be free to take its own decision on the fate of concessionary licence fees from 2020, and these conflicting promises have forced the BBC’s hand and weakened its capacity to sustain current levels of production and quality.
The corporation has already had to deliver savings on an unparalleled scale and there’s no leeway for more cuts without a disastrous impact on quality and production, that will be felt by viewers and by members. With the BBC squandering the money licence payers cough up by overcompensating so-called personalities and presenters to appear on shows no one wants to see.
Most of the shows are all brainwashing propaganda for the left wing who control the BBC, and most of the material that’s on there is all worn formatted repeats, it’s time to scrap the licence and make it free for everyone.
And if it’s not made free, then at least make it a subscription. Most people belong to Sky or Virgin Media et cetera and pay way over the odds and then still have to pay for their TV licence, what’s that all about? The problem is, people simply accept stuff that they think is out of their control, and if we’re paying for a subscription to view TV, whatever the channels are, they should all be merged as one because why should we have to pay for Sky and Virgin Media et cetera and still have to pay for the BBC?
And what’s with the free TV once a person’s 75 years old, are they anticipating that many by that time will be dead by then?
TV usage should be metered like a lot of things are, that way we only pay for what we view and how long our TV is on for, that way there will be no subscriptions and if we can’t afford to watch it, then we don’t. I guess it could be classified a bit like big brother, but then they follow our consumption anyhow.
As it stands pensioners are made to feel like a burden on the economy, they’re blamed for the NHS crisis, with the government coming after them for more tax and now the BBC’s hopping on the bandwagon. Yet they have no difficulty throwing money at all and sundry, but the people who have grafted all their lives and have helped to build this country have to suffer in their later years, making it difficult for them when they should be putting their feet up and enjoying their well-earned rest.
If the BBC want to save money maybe they should prune back their huge lavish salaries of its so-called star presenters, yet they cheat the elderly of a tax break to justify the likes of Zoe Ball and Ferne Cotton and others.
If you view or record shows as they’re being shown on telly in the United Kingdom, which is deemed as live TV you’ll need to be covered by a TV licence. You further require one if you use BBC iPlayer. What many may not realise is that this is the case regardless of the device their viewing it on.
And according to research, over 31 per cent of students don’t know that viewing live TV on a mobile device requires a licence, although in most cases they don’t need two if they already have one. So whether you’re viewing live TV on a television, computer, tablet, games console, smartphone or any other device, you’ll need to pay the fee.
But you don’t require a TV licence if you only view content after it’s been shown on television except if it’s on iPlayer. TV programmes downloaded or streamed following the broadcast on other catch-up services are fine without one.
When we speak about live TV, confusingly it isn’t necessarily a live episode of a programme, it could be pre-recorded. Live TV is content that’s being transmitted on a TV channel. This applies to all channels including, say, +1 channels) on any mainstream TV platform, including Freeview, Virgin or Sky.
It further pertains to viewing live TV through internet-only services such as Now TV and YouTube, but only if you view content that’s also being aired on a TV channel, for example, if you use YouTube to watch cat videos or pranksters you don’t require a TV licence to do that.
So, online services that only show content on-demand, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, don’t need to have a TV licence.
Here are some examples to show what this means:
When viewing an episode of The Big Bang Theory on your TV, on Channel 4, you DO need a TV licence.
When viewing an episode of The Big Bang Theory via the Channel 4 online streaming service (All 4) at the same time as it’s being shown on Channel 4, you DO need a TV licence.
When watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory online when it isn’t being broadcast live on Channel 4, you DON’T need a TV licence.
Your TV licence covers your household, no matter how many TVs you have, but the rules vary for shared student accommodation. Additionally, if you pay for a licence at home, it’ll cover you on a mobile device outside of your home subject to specific conditions.
However, I can’t honestly see a lot of over 75’s being thrown into prison for not paying their TV licence, they don’t have enough room in prisons as it is, and hurling pensioners into prison for such a trivial transgression would create a public disturbance, as well as putting further pressure on the prison service.
Theresa May is continually banging on about ending austerity, and then she allows this disgraceful act of mugging pensioners of their TV licence, and it’s political deception before our very eyes, saying one thing, but meaning another.
Yes, let’s set up a system where super-rich people can dodge inheritance tax through trusts but let’s make old people pay for their TV licences. You couldn’t make this crap up if you tried.
The BBC is out of date these days, and the way in which people view television has transformed radically, and you can get more than eighteen months of stuff on Netflix for the price of a TV licence.
If you’re registered blind, meaning severely sight impaired then the BBC grant you a blind concession TV licence, which gives you 50 per cent off the cost of a TV licence, but you don’t qualify for this if you’re registered as partially blind, this tells you everything you need to know about the BBC!
This is such a dated tax, and the fact that it’s still called a TV licence says it all, and it’s a scam, it’s not a TV licence, it’s a tax. Turn it off folks, stream your content from none live platforms, apart from Iplayer, there are masses of material out there that you can view without having to get a TV licence. It’s just a stealth tax to pay a magnitude of overpaid stars.
And seeing as it’s the elderly who seemingly watch more TV and can least afford the licence fee, which is simply a typical cynical move by the Left-wing elite that govern the BBC to get more funds to pay for yet more politically correct programmes intended for the youth audience that probably don’t watch as much TV or buy a licence, but which is paid for by everyone else.
Cancel your licence and do something more productive with the money.
A chronically-ill grandmother from Belfast was incarcerated for six days after she didn’t pay her TV licence. Anne Smith, 59, from Poleglass, who has severe mobility problems and was awaiting a double-hip replacement, was ordered to present herself to police by 5 pm on the Wednesday of last year so she could begin a six-day sentence behind bars.
She was jailed after she didn’t pay a £1,100 court fine for failing to pay her television licence.
The mother of four, who has 12 grandchildren said she was terrified at the possibility of being jailed, and she said it was utterly ludicrous that they would arrest a woman over a TV licence.
The poor woman had broken her hip and was powerless to get out of the house for an entire year. In hindsight, she should have paid her TV licence but because of her health and the fact that she’d had to support her sister through cancer, she merely didn’t get round to it.
This is a distressing situation and the arrest and the incarceration of a woman for a somewhat trivial offence, and her family made it clear that there were mitigating circumstances given her extremely severe health difficulties and attempts were actually being made to meet the outstanding fines at the time she was arrested.
However, it appeared that because the bench warrant had now been issued, this was not allowed and she was instead arrested from her home and then taken to Hydebank Prison.
There clearly is an obvious over-reaction here because the system should have shown some flexibility because jailing a chronically ill grandmother doesn’t do anyone any service, especially when she was making good on her struggles to pay the fines.
It’s shameful that a 59-year-old chronically ill woman was sentenced for not paying her TV licence, and this is cruel treatment of a defenceless working-class woman.
No one was detained for the £650 million Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) bill, but when an ordinary person struggles to make ends meet they’re tossed into jail. One rule for the wealthy, one law for the poor, and it’s sick and draconian.
The government are simply filthy corrupt politicians who would steal from their own grandparents, presumably Theresa May as sanctioned this? And we send approximately £14 billion overseas in so-called aid, yet the government want our 75-year-olds to pay up for this left-wing TV propaganda.
So, now it’s picking on the pensioners with the BBC not wanting to pay it and then taking it away from the pensioners. Perhaps they should simply sell the BBC off altogether and scrap this antiquated TV licence for everyone as it’s no longer fit for purpose.
And clearly, they’ve sussed that there’s going to be an ever increasing amount of people entering this age bracket, next it will be that old chestnut, “We’re moving it to the age of 85 because people are living longer!”
The BBC is targeting the elderly now because the younger generation is using Netflix, Amazon and other streaming sites and services because they offer much better entertainment service, and it’s affordable and 100 per cent better value than paying for the BBC.
The BBC is going to die a gradual death and there are many people out there that are going to enjoy watching it pass into the history bin, but here’s an idea, let the courts send all these over 75’s to prison, where they’ll get a free TV, free food, free immediate healthcare, a free warm room and bed, and no bills to pay, and which costs the government more money to do that then accentuating over a stupid TV licence.
Politicians break promises all the time, so should this be the kind of situation where a voter should be able to go to court and obtain some legal solution? And usually when someone breaks a promise over something important, the other person can threaten to get the law involved, and you can prosecute the offender.
It’s your right to legal redress and not only for straightforward disputes, and normally, there’s some smart lawyer someplace who can formulate your case. Can you imagine if every 75-year-old took this matter to court, it would be the greatest thing in British history?
The thing is, politicians are elected to deal with the important fields of policy that affect the people, matters of life and death, going to war or funding matters that will determine society’s standard of living, the economy and law and order, because this is as serious as it can get.
BBC presenters get excessive wages:
BBC presenters salary
Name Salary band (2018) Main BBC job
Nicky Campbell £410,000 – £419,999 Presenter, Radio 5
Jeremy Vine £440,000 – £449,999 Presenter, Radio 2
John Humphrys £400,000-£409,999 Presenter, Today and Mastermind
Andrew Marr £400,000 – £409,999 Presenter, Andrew Marr Show
Gary Lineker, who fronts the BBC’s football coverage, is paid between £1.75 million and £1.76 million a year, supplanting at the top of the salary list the Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, whose £2.2 million salary has been reduced to £1.66 million – £1.67 million, partially as a consequence of resigning from the BBC2 program Top Gear.
However, the BBC is a publicly owned sanctioned corporation created by the Royal Charter. That’s a really elaborate way of saying that it belongs to the people, there are no shareholders, and it’s declared to exist by law, no one else can call themselves by the same name, and is granted legal status by the Crown.
The BBC’s five public expectations are set out by the Royal Charter and Agreement, the constitutional basis for the BBC as presented to Parliament. These purposes outline the values the BBC holds when trying to accomplish its purpose to inform, educate and entertain.
So, what does your TV licence fee pay for? The fee you pay gives a broad range of TV, radio and online content as well as expanding new ways to deliver it to you. In addition to financing BBC programmes and services, a proportion of the licence fee adds to the costs of rolling out broadband to the UK population and financing Welsh Language TV channel S4C and local TV channels.
So, if we’re paying for a TV licence then why are we paying extra for other channels that the governments BBC don’t own? Well, the simple answer is company’s like Virgin Media, Sky et cetera, they’re in bed with the TV Licensing Authority which is contracted out to who knows where these days.
The requirement to hold a TV licence and to pay a fee is mandated by law under the Communications Act 2003 and the Communications (Television Licencing) Regulations 2004, as amended, and one needs to be covered by a TV licence no matter what device they use to view or record television shows that are being shown on TV or live online TV service.
One can’t download or view BBC shows on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC Iplayer, this includes TV’s, desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, games consoles, digital boxes, DVD, Blu-ray and VHS recorders.
Even if one accesses BBC Iplayer through a different provider, such as Sky, Virgin Media, Freeview or BT, you must have a licence.
However, it appears that rambling politicians are beyond the law, with one competitor who unambiguously commits to one plan of action when seeking a public vote and then does something entirely diverse, much to public inconvenience.
However, the law is not well placed to help the discouraged voter. For example, you can’t sue that politician for breach of contract, at least not in the jurisdiction of England and Wales because a politician’s promise isn’t an offer which by your acceptance when choosing a vote constitutes a lawfully obligatory agreement, so in reality their agreement, promise, whatever you want to name it, is worthless, and what comes out of their mouth is all wind and piss.
But if we had a law upon politicians breaking their word, all that would mean is that politicians would then simply break their promises in a different way.
Law is not magic, but then politicians should not default on their obligations, and they should be answerable for what they say and do and should be fearlessly scrutinised by their peers and there should be extreme clarity of the political process.
Furthermore, if politicians are going to make promises that they obviously aren’t going to keep, why should the public take these manifestos seriously?
Not only do politicians continually make promises they know they will never keep, but they further know that they will never be held liable for those promises that they never meant to keep and will be uniquely immune from any sort of formal review method.
There’s no other position in the world that bears the same privilege from proper scrutiny, unquestionably not one that involves working on behalf of its voters, and all we see is them abusing their position, and it seems like all world legislators misuse their positions to protect themselves, simply because they can.
Political parties are pretty much immune from regulation when it comes to telling porkie pies, but then the people who are responsible for the conduct of politicians are the voters who put them in office.