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The BBC and the license fee

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Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 11-Jun-2019 12:19 Message #4741622
You've probably heard the growing furore over the BBC's decision to stop giving free licenses to the over 75's, my question isn't really about that specific issue but about the license fee more broadly.
Despite my views on the BBC's news coverage, I still believe it is fantastic value for money and overall provides top service, but is it's funding appropriate for modern times?
Personally, I think it is, but many are calling for it's scrapping - in other words to privatise the BBC. Talk about massive salaries paid to stars and managers is used as evidence that it's not working and needs to fund itself.
Isn't this always the dispute between privatisation and nationalisation? Is it right to expect stars to be paid much less because the BBC is publicly funded?
I find it ironic that people moan about paying £150 per year for the license fee, yet happily pay £50 per month for Sky telly.
What do you think, should the BBC now fund itself?...
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 11-Jun-2019 12:48 Message #4741625
The free over 75 TV Licence was just one of the Labour political "bribes" brought in by Gordon Brown 20 years ago.
Although the decision to get rid of that concession now seems to have been placed at the door of the BBC it was a decision taken by the government that they were no longer going to fund it, so put the ball firmly in Auntie's court.
The BBC were never going to be able to fund it themselves, unless they shut down channels e.g BBC2 and many radio stations to cover the cost.
Is it any fairer that the younger generation, who by and large are not the largest consumers of BBC product, are asked to in effect subsidise the older generation who are. Or is it fair that the likes of multi millionaires over 75 also get a free licence (and the cold weather payment but that's a separate matter). Or where someone in a property is over 75 while the partner maybe isn't so they get to watch free TV too. It's either all in or all out.
And in this case having it all out is the only practicable solution. Although maybe if all over 75's were asked to pay a flat £100 per year instead might be an option. Registered blind people still have to pay 50% of the cost of a TV licence and you don't hear them moaning about that.
The fee is still a very small price to pay when you consider the sheer amount and variety of TV and radio on offer from the BBC and all advert free too. The amount of adverts on all commercial TV and radio stations drive me crazy and are a turn off for many and don't equate to any better programmes.
vanman  Male  Cambridgeshire 11-Jun-2019 13:16 Message #4741626
I would think if the BBC was self funding we would still have to pay a license fee of some kind.

It would have been nice to have an extra 150 quid in my pocket next year, but I've paid it since I retired so I expect I shall pay it after I'm 75 (if I live that long) lol.

I think those on Pension Credit should have to pay as well, even a reduced fee, would be more fair.

I am NOT on Pension Credit, and have to rely on State Pension, No Private Pensions, although HM Government decided that I should get a bit above the minimum amount. so I get too much to qualify for PC so I have to pay rent and council tax (although a reduced rate for both)
Working it out, what I pay in rent and council tax alone, leaves me about 12 quid a week better off than someone I know on Basic Pension plus Pension Credit that pays NO rent or council tax.
With all the other things they get free, it soon swallows up that extra 12 quid for me! lol.

Sorry fer the rant hiero. lol :-}
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 11-Jun-2019 13:22 Message #4741627
Rant away to your heart's desire vanman :) - your situation demonstrates how complex dishing out benefits is, and just throwing money at every given situation isn't always the answer...
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 11-Jun-2019 14:40 Message #4741630
Some food for thought that has come up on this subject in Facebook Dementia Carers (UK) group. Many carers have been driven up the wall with LO's watching repeat after repeat after repeat of programmes because the forget that they've seen them before. On one hand it can get mighty frustrating seeing the same programme yet again. However, it stimulates the brain and often keeps the peace; critical for both carer and person with Alzheimer's. Particularly during the Sundowning period where LO gets agitated and can lash out, it can be an ideal distraction method. It's so, so much more than just forgetfulness. It can make the difference between calming the person down and distracting them to the cost of blocking up beds in A&E.
Considering statistically you have a 1 in 2 chance of getting Alzheimer's by the time you are 85 you may be either a sufferer of it or a carer. Daytime TV is well known for cheap TV and repeats so costs very little in the scheme of things and I would imagine that over 75s is a drop in the ocean hat it will make precious little difference financially.
From the general public at large point of view they are in a unique position in taking risks for totally new programmes. Something the advertising channels don't have the privilege of because they have to chase the ratings to attract advertising funding. As a result of this they have been in a position to sell hit programmes globally which help fund the corporation. The high cost related programmes are as a whole scheduled for the fee paying public period anyway being generally evening biased. Considering the amount people pay out for packages like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Sky without batting an eyelid, the cost of BBC licence (which is subsidised by BBC World) is a drop in the ocean.
mancers  Male  Greater Manchester 11-Jun-2019 15:15 Message #4741631
The BBC should not charge anyone to view their channels, they can’t compete with Sky etc, they are living in the past, it’s about time they earned their money instead of offering us repeated repeats, sport nobody else can be bothered with and to cap it all political bias, join the 21st Century BBC and fend for yourself.
tsunamiwarrior  Male  Hertfordshire 11-Jun-2019 15:35 Message #4741633
I think the BBC is excellent value for money and I don't mind paying the fee for the various tv and radio provided. I would never pay one penny into the coffers of Sky.
barney  Male  Surrey 11-Jun-2019 15:56 Message #4741636
The BBC paid 148 million in salaries for presenters last year. Nearly 2 million to Linneker alone, why ?. Anyone can present a football match.
I don't watch the BBC so they can scrap the whole thing for all I care.
Got fed up with all the bias in every programme.
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 11-Jun-2019 17:12 Message #4741639
Like Tsunami says, I would not pay a penny for Sky.
BBC is good value for money, but agree with Barney about the bias.
Witheflow  Male  North Yorkshire 11-Jun-2019 18:53 Message #4741654
It was on page 66 of the tory manifesto in 2017, that they pledged to keep the free TV licence for over 75s. This parliament ends in 2022 and yet this is being actioned in 2020. The Tories have once again lied and failed in their manifesto pledges.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 11-Jun-2019 18:54 Message #4741657
I think its generally good value for money, but personally if it was a choice between paying mega bucks for broadcasting rights to various expensive sports stuff then I'd rather the money was spent on free TV licences. Trouble is the free TV licence thing is out of the bottle now and its become a political football, the government didn't want to keep paying for them and put it on the BBC who then had to decide what to do, they came up with a compromise solution. I like not having channels with adverts, where you get a proper program with out a load of recaps after each ad break, with a lot of channels the programs on for an hour, but you only about 25 minutes of program because of ads and recaps. I nearly always record stuff on commercial channels so as I can ffw througth the ads. I think programs like Blue Planet are worth the licence fee by themselves

As I've said many times before the political right think the BBC is biased against them and the political left believe its biased against them, so maybe they've got it about right?
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 11-Jun-2019 19:03 Message #4741660
Different ways of looking at it, but with there being much more than BBC nowadays, it seems bonkers that you can't have something without the BBC involved...

When it just used to be BBC only, then if you watched 20 hours of telly a week for instance, it would all be BBC, but now the 20 hour a week is more likely to only include a few hours BBC, the rest ITV, Ch4, Ch5, Freeview etc...Then if you pay for Sky on top, you'd be mad to choose to pay for Sky and then spend most of your time watching other stuff...There are some mad people around though...
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 11-Jun-2019 22:53 Message #4741674
Although I do think the licence is good value for money I have not had a licence for nearly 10 years now. Just means I have to watch 'catch up' and no bbc at all.
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 12-Jun-2019 07:56 Message #4741682
"The BBC paid 148 million in salaries for presenters last year. Nearly 2 million to Linneker alone, why ?. Anyone can present a football match."

That's a bit short sighted Barney, I would have thought you of all people would understand the need to pay for talent. It's hardly fair to single out one person because we don't like them.
To us mere mortals the money paid to "stars" in all walks of life is mind boggling - I despise football and cannot understand how footballers get paid the salaries they do to kick a ball about - anybody can do that. I do find it funny though that supposed "poor" people never criticise their favourite, yet bemoan the fact MP's get £70,000 per year, for example.

The BBC have to pay comparative salaries to the private sector otherwise they won't get talent to work for them. Do you expect Linneker to do what he does for the minimum wage?

tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 12-Jun-2019 10:04 Message #4741684
I'm a football fan...and even I find the top footballers wages to be mind boggling and spiralling out of control, and to continue spiralling..

...but it is only to top few percent who get the mega money..Out of the millions who play football in this country for instance, at all the levels, only a few hundred at most are on the mega bucks...and to become one of those few hundred is like any 'getting to the top' stuff in life...extremely hard to achieve...For anyone who doesn't think it is, good luck in trying to get there..

So I do think they deserve a lot of dosh...just not as much as it's spiralling to...In the olden days, top footballers weren't on much more than 'normal' working people, maybe at the most double the average 'normal' wage for a top player who achieved International 'stardom' when their short football career ended, they would often sell any medals to continue living in the house that they bought from the football money...I don't expect violins and sympathy for that...Oh my heart bleeds etc...but it's good that they don't have to do that anymore, but I agree it's bad that it is continuing to spiral..

Anyway, back to the licence thing..
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 12-Jun-2019 10:38 Message #4741692
Propbably 80% of what I watch is on a BBC channel, I do watch some stuff on other channels mostly channels 4 and 5, I've looked at the tv guide for whats on sky and all I can see is repeat throughout the day, they seem to have about 4-5 hours of new programs and make them last a week. When the tv we have now packs up then I hope to get one of the smart ones that can get netflix and stuff, we have to have a box to record and pause live tv, its supposed to have internet access but it dosen't see able to connect.
Judance  Female  Berkshire 12-Jun-2019 11:05 Message #4741703
Personally, I'm happy to pay the licence fee if it means I don't have to suffer the adverts. I have a freeview TV and a NOW TV box which is quite enough for me.

I'm happy that there will now be some means testing for the free licence .. and I wish it were the same for the winter fuel payment. The idea that anyone over a certain age, whatever their financial situation, should get something for free that others struggle to pay for just doesn't sit well with me. I'm not sure of the current situation but the free bus pass used to be for everyone over the age of 60. I had friends in full time work using the free bus pass!!

I always think of Lord Sugar with his millions being able to travel free on buses and get a winter fuel payment whilst having a free TV licence!
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 12-Jun-2019 11:07 Message #4741704
The thing is there can sometimes be so many things on TV both "terrestrial" & satellite channels, mostly at the 9pm watershed that quite often there could be half a dozen series episodes on at the same time.
You can get most on +1 channels (except the Beeb as they're constrained in their channel availability to do that) or on the catch up facility if you have it (or access to box sets if you have that).
But not all repeated series (maybe one you might have missed first time round) are shown again on catch up. So it's useful when the satellite channels often repeat those episodes through the week.
Brundall  Male  Lincolnshire 12-Jun-2019 15:38 Message #4741734
If this government runs to 2022 they will be very unpopular all 75's have a vote stick together and the ballot box will sort it out.
May was right the "Nasty Party" sure enough she was right for a change never mind the 75's the 80s get 25p a week minus tax miserly20p a week it cost that to go to the toilets in Cleethorpes but the rest of the time pee in the bushes
And while I am commenting on politics Borris is now saying that big tax cuts to any one been paid not necessary earning it will get money from Brexit, last time he said anything it was going to be for the NHS Make your mind up Borris if you don't get what they are tipping you for you could always get a 10 minute spot at the Appollo a good comedy turn is always a brightener!
I think its a back door way in to paying the useless buggers a pay rise for sitting in Parliament
barney  Male  Surrey 12-Jun-2019 16:31 Message #4741738
A 99yr old war veteran said this this morning, " a few days ago they were calling us heroes now this ".
Says it all really.
BlackMark1  Male  Leicestershire 12-Jun-2019 16:41 Message #4741740
There is no reason why reaching 75 years old should entitle you to a free TV licence and the idea is quite ridiculous. Many of that age and upwards have held good jobs with substantial pensions. Their mortgages are paid off and they are often far better off financially than at any other time in their lives.
There is a very good reason for providing the free licence for those who actually need it.
It can't be difficult to have a scheme which doesn't automatically benefit the wealthy but helps those who are less well off.
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 12-Jun-2019 23:02 Message #4741752
If you are going to base the bar on pension credit I think that bar is set far too low. People on pension credit are severely struggling as it is. I think the bar should be set much higher before a person on a pension should be considered "rich". The value of the pound has collapsed since pension credit was introduced and doesn't reflect modern salary. As for the mention of free bus passes I have always held the opinion that there should be a nominal fee. I see far too many who are quite capable of walking use it for just one or two stops because they can.
barney  Male  Surrey 12-Jun-2019 23:44 Message #4741753
I agree with you BlackMark1, there should be a scheme which doesn't automatically benefit the wealthy.
I don't need the fuel allowance, bus pass or the free tv licence when I get to 75.
Rather than try and stop the fuel allowance I accept it and include it in the money I give to charities at Christmas.
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire 13-Jun-2019 22:09 Message #4741836
I don't believe it. I disagree with Mancers and agree with most of the right wingers.

I love the BBC and happy to pay for it. In fact I mainly watch BBCi films or politics, maybe the odd drama.
I go to bed most nights with BBC Sounds, sometimes Mindful Classics or something from Radio 4, or Nick Robinson.

I don't pay for any extra TV at all, but I do subscribe to Audible.

Brilliant and funny film on BBC films "Untouchable" just now. In French with subtitles.
Lainiepops  Female  Hampshire 15-Jun-2019 17:54 Message #4741970
well, I am 63 this year. Already I have to wait another 4 years before I can claim pension. If I were born 5 months before I could have retired two years ago.
My county doesnt give out free bus passes until official retirement age, so another wait, although in London they get theirs at sixty.
I mostly listen to online radios or independent local stations (wave, etc), as I think the beeb stations are repetative. so wouldnt miss them as much. especially radio one..!
the only thing I would probably miss, Like JustLyn re the dramas.. they are alwasy awesome and brilliantly made. but even those, they dont do as many as they used.
By the time I am of retirement age, they will probably have cancelled all free travel for pensioners. In 13 years time, If theres anything worth watching on telly, then I shall worry about the free t.v. licence. but I DO know that the BBC hold far too much power than they should have, and Is about time some of it was taken way from them.

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