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View Poll Results: BPX039

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  • Free for All - Government Fund It

    2 18.18%
  • Free for the Elderley - Government Fund Them

    3 27.27%
  • Free for the Elderley - Increase the Fee

    2 18.18%
  • Charge Them - It's OK for Pensions to Pay

    1 9.09%
  • End It - Abolish the Licence Fee

    3 27.27%
  • Other

    0 0%
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Results 1 to 10 of 42
  1. #1

    BPX039: Looking After Auntie

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/20...ay-licence-fee

    The BBC plans to lock up your Grandparents because they're poor.
    Yep, over 75's will soon be losing their free TV licences and will be required to stump up the fee. There's a way to claim it still but it doesn't apply to millions of older viewers as the Beeb aims to leverage the fact that its average viewer age is 60, charging its biggest and most loyal audience.

    Very simple jumping point, should the Beeb have cut services and channels to maintain free licenses for the elderly and what should be done about the future of the BBC when the introduction of advertising and the abolishment of the licence fee increasingly becomes closer to inevitable?

  2. #2
    Feels like even in that article there is more to this than the basic question. The free licence fee for over 75s was introduced in 1999. Only like pretty much everything labelled 'free', it's not free. The government were subsidising it so the public were paying for it anyway. George Osborne and the Tories somehow got this to be phased out in 2015, leaving the decision on what to do with the over 75s (basically how to make up what is a massive new shortfall) up to the BBC. That's important - this is a new problem that exists because the government have somehow pulled out of that obligation. I don't know the details of how that happened.

    As you mention, there is a way to claim for it but I don't know how that works at all. If people are eligible for it, it should be made very easy to claim rather than any kind of hassle - the article implies it is more difficult than it should be to claim for that.

    So if it worked like it should, those who can afford it would pay for it and those who can't would have it subsidised but it doesn't seem that easy according to that article. So I guess my first thing would be: can that be made easy? My second thing would be: why isn't the Tory government subsidising this any more?

    As for the wider question, that really comes down to the value of the BBC. And I know I'd probably see that differently to many people because of who I work with and the fact that the BBC has paid for many people I know to live over the years. Budgets in many sectors haven't gone up in a decade because the money just hasn't been there so it's not like they've been rolling in cash - things have been tight and, with more cuts, many parts of what the BBC do becomes unviable. And it's not just the BBC - that filters out to independents and many, many related businesses across the UK and even beyond. You might not watch the BBC that much any more but it contributes hugely. Documentaries and much of children's TV would be close to death without it - you can't rely on commercial broadcasters for that. Many who end up on crews on all kinds of productions were trained through the BBC or on BBC productions. They do a huge amount of extra stuff like archiving, digital content, the iPlayer and so on. And probably a heck of a lot more that I'm not even aware of because I'm only in one specific area.

    We wouldn't know what would get hit with major cutbacks but you can be sure the effects would be big and you'd miss it when it's gone, even if you weren't aware of it in the first place.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogg Thang View Post
    We wouldn't know what would get hit with major cutbacks but you can be sure the effects would be big and you'd miss it when it's gone, even if you weren't aware of it in the first place.
    I agree. I think losing the BBC would be a big deal and people don't appreciate how much they'd miss it.

  4. #4
    I find this a difficult one, I feel like the BBC is issue is one they can't avoid - they appeal so hard to older people and the world has changed in ways the company doesn't reflect anymore. Older generations are eventually going to pass away and increasingly younger ones are going to opt not to pay the fee as alternate viewing methods continue to be created. The UK needs to decide once and for all whether it views the BBC as a TV company or a national service.

    If it's a service then the government needs to fund it entirely, subsidised by the earnings it makes, and scrap the licence fee. If it's a company then advertising needs to be brought in to replace the fee.

    The BBC also needs to get past its self-harming mindset too like when they purposely sabotaged Radio 1 because it was getting massive listening figures from outside the 18-25 bracket. It literally just cost them with no gain thanks to stupid charter rules. They have too many stations and channels etc as well.

    I'm doubtful their archives would get wiped if they lost the fee, likely they'd become more reliant on them instead of letting stuff collect dust in there. The handful of popular shows they make would all be safe too, I genuinely find it very hard to think of what would be lost by dropping the fee.

    It's certainly questionable that its a mandatory fee for those who don't use their output. I mean, we're ever moving to an on demand marketplace and the fee's loophole is that you're liable for it if you watch or record 'live' airings or use iPlayer meaning it's very easy to workaround needing to pay the fee already if you felt compelled to, another reflection of how increasingly outdated the BBC funding model is.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Superman Falls View Post
    The handful of popular shows they make would all be safe too, I genuinely find it very hard to think of what would be lost by dropping the fee.
    Yeah, this is kind of the thinking I expected when I made my first post. It's much less about the popular shows, which commercial broadcasters can chase, and actually often much more about the unpopular stuff and services which contribute to pockets of society and yet would only exist as a result of the BBC. It's a little like bus routes. A state run bus company can serve everyone, even if that means that some routes are much lighter than others. Privatise it and you can say that popular routes will be safe and they will... but that still leaves a huge number of people cut off when all the smaller routes turn out to be unprofitable.

  6. #6
    Rupert Murdoch desperately wants the BBC to close down. That's one good reason to keep it open.

  7. #7
    I'm not a fan of the BBC or their programing, being forced to pay for something i don't or rarely use is pretty annoying, as a value proposition £154.50 a year or £12 a month may not seem like much but it irks me that i dont have a choice. 99% of whats shown on the bbc doesn't interest me, its heald up like some sort of bastion of amazing broadcasting but is dominated by the likes of Eastenders, tog gear, the one show, Bargin hunt, Strictly come dancing and Homes under the hammer. in case you cant tell it really annoys me that I'm forced to pay £12 a month for series of channels showing ****e like the above.

  8. #8
    I don't really consume a lot of BBC content, but Dogg Thang is spot on. They produce loads of quality content on BBC 4 and Radio 4 that just wouldn't get made otherwise. They make stuff that doesn't treat you like a complete moron or pander to the lowest common denominator, and they can do that because they have a mandate to and they get money from the taxpayer to.

    If it became a commercial organisation, it really would just be the bollocks like Bargain Hunt and Strictly that gets made - you can wave goodbye to the unique stuff.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by wakka View Post
    I don't really consume a lot of BBC content, but Dogg Thang is spot on. They produce loads of quality content on BBC 4 and Radio 4 that just wouldn't get made otherwise. .
    Absolutely - if all you're seeing is East Enders and The One Show, you're really not looking hard enough.

    And pensioners should cough up if they're minted like everyone else.

  10. #10
    Iíve always seen the Beeb in the same bracket as libraries, art galleries and museums. I donít really use them, but they provide a cultural breadth for the nation as a whole. Itís not really a Ďlicenseí - itís a Ďtaxí for a public service. It caters for all tastes - not just the popular money-rakers.

    Iíve seen Canadian tv and German tv. They are completely and utterly awful. Commercial tv is driven by commercial interests, and a whole raft of programming and music would be sacrificed if the national broadcaster got thrown to the dogs of market forces.

    I still tend to watch it for news. Itís NOT always impartial and omits stories Iíd consider to be key, but compared to the parochial, tubthumping nonsense in the US, itís practically objectively. The radio channels are largely excellent and cater for lots of tastes. The websites are my go-to places for a breadth of coverage. The sports coverage - whatís left of it - is still good. Especially TMS, the loss of which is a tragedy. In no way, shape or form can Talk****e replace it.

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