Gransnet forums

Site stuff

BBC Aged-Related TV Licence Consultation - have your say

(98 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 22-Jan-19 13:39:32

We have been invited to put forward an organisational response of gransnetters' views to the consultation about what the BBC should do when the UK Government funding of licence fees for over-75 households comes to an end.

Today, all households with someone aged over 75 are entitled to receive free TV licences. The cost of this scheme has been funded by the UK Government since it was introduced in 2000. In 2020 the current scheme is set to come to an end - any new scheme after this needs to be decided on and paid for by the BBC.

Any age-related concession would mean the BBC would have less money, which would mean fewer programmes and services.

There are a number of options.

1) for the BBC to copy the existing scheme. This would cost the BBC at least £745 million a year, the equivalent of around a fifth of the BBC's budget today and around the same amount of money that the BBC currently spends on all of BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, the BBC News Channel, and the BBC children's channels CBBC and CBeebies. A major reduction in the BBC's services would be unavoidable. The BBC believes that this level of cuts to services would not be consistent with sustaining the BBC's mission and purposes for all audiences.

2) to restore a universal licence fee, and not have any age-targeted concession. This would return to the principle that existed up to 2000 that every household who receives BBC TV services should pay for them. While there would be a cost of around £72m in 2021/22 (and less in the years after that), the efficiency savings the BBC expects it can make mean the overall result of taking this option would be no significant cuts to BBC services. But it recognises this option would remove the concession from all older households. The concession was introduced to help relieve pensioner poverty, which is still an issue for some older people. We also recognise the significance of BBC programmes and services as an important source of enjoyment and companionship for the elderly.

3) reforming the concession, so that a concession for older age groups would still apply, but in a different way from at present. This approach could provide focused support to some in the older age group, and also allow the BBC to continue to deliver popular services that would otherwise have to close. This could be done by a) discounting the cost of a licence fee (so older people would pay a reduced rate) or b) raising the age threshold for the concession from 75. Or c) means-testing the concession for older people eg by linking free licences to one of the UK Government's measures of pensioner income, for example Pension Credit.

It would be really useful to have your views here on this thread on which of these three options you think would be best (and why). Many thanks

Scribbles Tue 22-Jan-19 14:39:35

I'd like to see an Option 4: scrap this ludicrous tax on television-watching and make the BBC support itself commercially as all the other providers have to do.

If that really isn't a possibility, then it should be Option 2; ie: nobody pays or everyone pays.

shysal Tue 22-Jan-19 14:59:16

Option 3.

Elrel Tue 22-Jan-19 15:01:10

Keep the free over 75 licence but it has to be applied for. Many pensioners wouldn't apply.

Now I'm thinking that the alert ones would and some people who really needed it financially might not.

Make the free licence means-tested, the winter fuel allowance too!

GabriellaG54 Tue 22-Jan-19 15:04:13

Means tested for those who qualify for pension credit.

I'm happy to carry on paying when I reach 75 as I can afford to. Many can't, therefore my first choice is to allow a free licence to seniors over 75 who are on pension credit.

jusnoneed Tue 22-Jan-19 15:05:22

Keep it free and get rid of some of the money wasting that goes on within the BBC. The ridiculous salaries to start with.

If not then I agree with Scribbles, make them have advertising the same as everyone else.

GabriellaG54 Tue 22-Jan-19 15:07:05

Should have put

Bathsheba Tue 22-Jan-19 15:18:47

I agree with Gabriella - Option 3C. I would hate to see those in poverty having to go without the enjoyment and company that television gives them in order to pay for essentials such as heating and food.
However, the cost of administering a means-tested system could well be prohibitive.

Anja Tue 22-Jan-19 15:26:59

Scrap the free licence and the WFA. Increase pensions to make up the difference.

There are those who use these freebies as a stick to beat pensioners with. Ditch them.

lemongrove Tue 22-Jan-19 15:36:24

Either: the BBC should leave things as they are, and all 75 year olds have free licenses ( BBC has advertisers, why not, all other channels do so) or anyone over 75 just pays 50% of the fee.

Oldwoman70 Tue 22-Jan-19 15:37:53

Why are the BBC targeting those who currently don't have to pay for a TV licence. They would do better (and gain a lot of public goodwill) if they sorted out their finances by cutting back on the enormous salaries paid to the "stars".

If we have to make a choice I would go with 3a. What guarantees do we have that the BBC will not later cut the services anyway

Nandalot Tue 22-Jan-19 15:41:13

Happy with 3c. For those pensioners on the benefits mentioned, finding the extra for the television licence would be very difficult.

cornergran Tue 22-Jan-19 15:48:28

There was a thread about this recently, can't find it now.

I dislike all the options presented by the BBC. If I must choose it would be options 3b or 3a. Paying for a licence could be the last straw for many with very tight budgets ineligible for means tested benefits. The television is a tool against loneliness for many older people, their window on the world.

My preference is for the value of the television and winter fuel 'benefits' to be added to pensions, anyone who pays tax would be taxed accordingly, those who don't would receive the full amount.

MacCavity2 Tue 22-Jan-19 15:51:59

Option 3C

Grannybags Tue 22-Jan-19 17:08:21


GabriellaG54 Tue 22-Jan-19 17:18:46

If I may expand on the option 3c.
I think it's important not to make over 75s jump through too many hoops in order to be granted a free licence.
I know full well that some are as fit as a fiddle but, those that are in receipt of pension credit and disabled or, like Annie (agoraphobic) or unwell for any other reason, should, IMO, have their entitlement added to their oensuin credit, winter fuel allowance and, where appropriate, the warm home discount. All under the DWP umbrella and all easily verified as they hold NI, phone number and address of all recipients.

Failing that, I'd go for the suggestion (put forward in by an earlier poster) which would raise the pension to include the entitlements as listed above.

GabriellaG54 Tue 22-Jan-19 17:20:25

* oensuin pension blush

kittylester Tue 22-Jan-19 17:24:45

anja put my thoughts exactly!

craftergran Tue 22-Jan-19 17:38:52

I think I read the younger generation do not watch live tv preferring internet tv - you tube netflix etc (which does not require a tv licence)

ITV advertising would seem to confirm this as most of their ads are targeted at gransnet age groups, menopause products, funeral plans and funeral homes, releasing house equity etc

I think the BBC need to look at scrapping the licence fee altogether or encouraging young people to watch. I did notice they used a young You Tube star in the most recent "Strictly", so perhaps they are trying to entice young people.

Grannyben Tue 22-Jan-19 18:18:51

I would go for 3c. I can see that it is wrong for people to receive the licence for free, when they are in a position to pay for it, but I would hate to think of someone living alone who couldn't turn the tv on because the couldn't pay the fee.

glammanana Tue 22-Jan-19 18:25:51

I would go for option 3,would people who already have the concession keep it when the time comes or would they loose it also.?

EllanVannin Tue 22-Jan-19 18:39:35

Keep it, Glam. I did and have a " certificate " to prove I'm over 75 after filling in NAT.INS. ? number and DOB--------last year when I was 78 ! They're a tad behind.

SueDonim Tue 22-Jan-19 21:08:06

Option 3C

Charleygirl5 Tue 22-Jan-19 21:50:51

3a or 3b, I think 3c would be too expensive to administer.

I agree with others, the BBC must get their own house in order and stop paying such ridiculous salaries.

Floradora9 Tue 22-Jan-19 21:52:03

OPTION 3C we would not apply .