BBC’s next chairman Richard Sharp urged to scrap TV licence fees for over 75s ‘Just wrong’
BBC licence fee: Charging over 75s 'is wrong' says Williams
Councillor Williams has slammed the BBC for charging over 75s for their TV licence and is calling for the broadcaster to stop “criminalising” people for not paying their fees. Calling into talkRadio with hosts James Whale and Ash Gould, Cllr Williams said: “We need to look at the licence fee, we need to get rid of it.” It comes after the BBC was slated for sending TV Licensing inspectors to target unlicensed homes again after they stopped in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cllr Williams said: “We need to scrap the fact that you can be criminalised for not paying your TV licence fee and you know we are asking over-75s now for the first time to pay their licence fee and wrong.
“I just think it is totally wrong.”
Richard Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was named on Wednesday as the nominee to become the next chairman of the BBC after former Bank of England deputy governor David Clementi
Host Ash Gould added: “What you are saying is over 75-year-olds can be put in prison for not contributing to Strictly Come Dancing. That is literally in this day and age what can happen.
“You can go to prison for not paying for those dancers to perform.”
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Cllr Williams continued: “It is a real problem and I really hope the new BBC chairman steps up and addresses it.
Under UK law, Britons can be fined up to £1,000 if they do not pay the £157.50 annual fee charge.
BBC data revealed £12,865 was spent on first-class rail travel for top BBC executives in the 2019-2020 financial year.
As well as this, the corporation paid out £26.6million to 310 employees between April and November, enough to cover the licence fee for 168,000 pensioners.
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The average voluntary redundancy payout is £100,661, say new figures, as the corporation insists it is slashing costs.
However, critics branded it an “egregious waste of licence fee money” and branded the move to restart enforcement visits as bullying.
Others have accused the £157.50 a year cost of being out of date in a world with increased competition from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
They argue Brits are forced to cough up money to fund for the BBC even if they do not enjoy the programmes produced by the broadcaster.
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A new survey from the polling organisation YouGov has found 48 percent of Brits do not believe the BBC adequately represent their views.
The figure represents a drastic drop in support for the broadcaster since the start of the current royal charter in 2016 when 62 percent of the public had a favourable view of the BBC.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said he was “certainly looking at” scrapping the BBC’s funding model.
In 2016 it was agreed the national broadcaster would continue to receive funding through the compulsory licence fee which must be paid by all those who watch live TV.
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