‘Unfair’ BBC licence payment positive blasted as Brits hit with £1,000 cost | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Criminal sanctions for individuals who fail to pay the tv licence payment are “increasingly disproportionate and unfair,” in keeping with Culture Minister Julia Lopez. Ms Lopez says she is “concerned about the impact that a licence fee enforced by criminal sanctions can have on people”.

Watching, recording or downloading programmes illegally can face a £1,000 positive.

In a letter to the anti-licence payment group Defund The BBC, Ms Lopez mentioned: “The Government sees these sanctions as increasingly disproportionate and unfair in a modern public service broadcasting system, and we have committed to keep this issue under consideration as we look at the future of the licence fee.”

She added that the Government expects the broadcaster to be “fair, measured, and proportionate in its approach to collecting the licence fee, in particular treating vulnerable people or those facing financial hardship with sensitivity”.

The price of the licence payment for a color tv will subsequent month go up from £159 to £169.50. The licence payment generated £3.74billion in 2022-23 and accounted for 65 per cent of BBC funding.

Licence payment evasion has practically doubled from 5.5 per cent in 2012-13 to 10.31 per cent in 2022-23, with the BBC’s share of viewers declining from 34 per cent in 2008 to 32 per cent final yr. According to the BBC, prosecutions in England and Wales have fallen from 128,000 folks in 2017-18 to 44,000 in 2021-22.

Rebecca Ryan of Defund The BBC mentioned: “The future of the BBC is an important issue on the doorstep. People across the country are fed up with the pious holier-than-you attitudes of the BBC and their all too often flagrant bias.

“Voters have had enough of propping up an institution that is unfriendly to their interests.”

The group has requested all candidates within the “red wall” seats in Labour’s conventional heartland to state their private place on the way forward for the BBC.

In her letter, Ms Lopez addresses the impartiality of the BBC, stating: “The impartiality of the BBC, as a publicly funded broadcaster, goes to the heart of the contract between the organisation and licence fee payers. Ofcom has found that audience perceptions of the BBC’s impartial delivery of news is lower than their perceptions of its trustworthiness and accuracy.”

However, she provides: “As a Government, our aim will always be to ensure that a strong, distinctive, independent BBC can continue to thrive for years to come – and also to improve the BBC where we can, providing high quality public service content on a universal basis.”

In December, a evaluation in to the way forward for the licence payment was launched. This adopted a two-year freeze of the licence payment in 2022 to assist households with price of residing challenges.

A BBC spokesman mentioned: “It is absolutely right that we debate how the BBC is best funded to ensure that it can thrive – not just today, but in the future – with public service at its heart, projecting the UK’s values across the globe, producing impartial news, and telling stories through content that reflect the real lives of people across the UK. We will continue to engage with the Government review as it evolves over the coming months.”