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This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Conservatives Press On With TV Licence Fee Decriminalisation Plans


Less than a week into the new Conservative majority government and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has reiterated plans to decriminalise TV licence fee evasion.

As the law stands at the moment, a TV licence is required for all properties where equipment is installed or used to receive TV programmes. Anyone caught receiving TV programmes without a valid licence faces criminal prosecution, which can ultimately (in theory, never in practice) result in a fine of up to £1,000.

In 2012 more than 180,000 people appeared in Magistrates' Courts in England and Wales charged with TV licence evasion. Of those, around 155,000 were convicted and fined. TV licence evasion cases accounted for more than 1 in 10 of all criminal prosecutions, which has raised concerns that they place an excessive burden on valuable court time.

During the last Parliament Conservative politicians made several attempts to bring forward legislation decriminalising TV licence fee evasion. Recently, in accordance with the requirements of  the Deregulation Act 2015, the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid MP, ordered a review into the system of TV licence enforcement. The review, which is being conducted by barrister David Perry QC, is currently in the consultation stage and should present its findings to Parliament later this year.

Today's Telegraph reports that the Prime Minister's official spokesman has reaffirmed the Government's commitment to decriminalisation of TV licence fee evasion.

The Prime Minster has also promoted John Whittingdale MP, an outspoken critic of both the TV licence fee and BBC, to take over Mr Javid's role as Secretary of State. For the last five years Mr Whittingdale has chaired the influential House of Commons Culture Select Committee, which has challenged the BBC over a range of issues. Mr Whittingdale has previously likened TV Licensing's tactics to those of the Gestapo and recently described the TV licence fee as "ultimately unsustainable" and "worse than the poll tax".

Downing Street sources are reported as saying that Mr Whittingdale will "sort out the BBC" ahead of the Corporation's Royal Charter renewal in 2016. In particular, it looks increasingly likely that the freeze in the cost of the TV licence fee will be extended.

There are interesting times ahead for the BBC.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Im not a Tory voter myself but if they sort out the BBC/TVL "extortion racket" I shall not complain !!

TheKnightsShield said...

Oh, look, a carrot hanging by a thread, how sweet.

Once a government ACTUALLY DECRIMINALISES the licence fee, THEN it'll be news. Until then, it's just pointless postering as it ALWAYS has been. As long as the BBC keeps reporting on the acting government in a positive (read: BIASED) way, they'll keep having things done THEIR way.

Anonymous said...

Having come to despise the BBC because of seeing how it treats those like me who legally do not have a TV licence, I earnestly hope Whittingdale does sort it out.

Alas, he is on record as saying a universal levy (possibly collected via the council tax) would be an appropriate funding source for the BBC - so falling on those who at present are legally licence free as well as upon all other citizens. Such a levy, an outrage in itself, would make the BBC even less accountable.

Accordingly, let us not raise our hopes of Whittingdale or this government serving out the BBC's long overdue desserts.

Anonymous said...

Just been looking at the review dates for the decriminalisation of the 'act' and it's supposed to be by completed by David Perry by the end of June 2015.

Have you heard or seen anything yet?

I've had a good search and can't find anything yet.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/20/notes/division/5/75

Admin said...

We've not heard anything official yet, but are assuming the report will be completed on time. That's certainly the whisper we're getting.