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Should households pay a universal flat-rate fee regardless of whether they own a TV?

Everyone watching a TV in the UK currently has to pay the annual BBC licence fee of £145.50 for a colour TV and £49 if you have a black & white one per household.

However if you watch on-demand TV or catch-up you do not require a TV licence.

This looks like it’s about to change with the government charging every home a levy, even to those that have no TV or only watch on-demand and catch-up TV.

Why would the licence be scrapped?

Because a household does not need a licence to watch catch-up services, the Commons committee for Culture, Media and Sport are in favour of imposing a bill on every home, with an extra charge for BBC services, in order to close the loophole.

The changes will affect an extra half a million households and its not yet clear what the new levy will be.

What are your views? Do you own a TV? Should households pay a universal flat-rate fee regardless of whether they own a TV?

Should households pay a universal flat-rate fee regardless of whether they own a TV?

720 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

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scandiman
11th May 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Why pay for having a TV if you don't have one? I object to the licence anyway, because I watch little TV. Most times there is little to interest me. I am not a sports fan, and can't abide soaps. If you don't watch those, or reality TV and endless cookery programmes, there is not much left. Weekend TV is a desert. Oh good, yet another series of Casualty,, yet another gameshow,another talent contest. Boring! Even films are continually repeated. I have Freebies, with several dozen channels but still nothing to watch. Fortunately I read a lot, do gardening and use my laptop for YouTube.
scandiman
11th May 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
For Freebies, please read Freeview!
Notdeadyet
10th May 2015
-1
Thanks for voting!
As it is now possible to watch TV programmes on equipment other than a TV set then perhaps a flat fee for everyone is the answer to providing funds for the BBC and public sector broadcasting instead of a TV licence. I expect they could use the TV Licence Fee collecting system to operate it too. I think the BBC needs to be funded as a public sector broadcasting provider - they also produce better programmes (on the whole) than expensive Sky, etc. and you don't have those annoying adverts. They also provide the best and most widely listened to radio channels.
malmar58
29th Apr 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
The BBC should not have public money all the PC nutter and saftey nut and phido in it BBC news is garbage all the time i watch Aljezeera orn RT all in favor of scraping the BBC fee
Stoic
28th Apr 2015
0
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It is amazing to me that the whole of the people of the United Kingdom contribute to a quasi political organisation in the payment of its TV licencing fee. That the BBC sees fit to voice an opinion (surreptitiously to be sure), when it is supposed to be above putting forward even a view. Reporters over the years have virtually installed a set posture for the country, making it very hard to disseminate the truth through what the main media have put across. Of course the BBC have top class programs, I have no argument with this. But some overseas reporting, or at least, it's acquisition of material and it's interpretation, in my opinion, is extremely suspect.
shunter
25th Apr 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
There should be NO charge (Other than a voluntary one for cable satellite or similar) advertising revenue should be used
as it is abroad, -- But that's not the "British" way; That's:- If it moves-----------It needs a licence- & or tax! - If it DOESNT move -it needs a licence-&-or tax
happydays1949
24th Apr 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Why is their still a b&w licence as there isn't an analogue signal anymore so even if you have a b&w telly you couldn,t watch it I say scrap the b&w licence and then they could work out how many houses are now in Britain and charge a nominal fee such as £100 a year multiplied by the amount of houses it would work out at quite a large payday for the BBC.
Of course there is the option of making the BBC a pay to view and then they would find out exactly how many people actually watch BBC quite a lot less than pay the licence I bet
Mo Moor
16th Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Whilst I appreciate the many comments against paying a licence fee, I think that generally it is good value-for-money. We have Sky plus, and it costs an enormous amount, and we have the facility to buy packages and films online at further cost! The BBC, whilst they do not get it right the whole time, many of their programmes are good and entertaining. Also, included in the fee is the radio licence too. On the whole, the BBC produces far more entertaining programmes than those extremely wealthy tv providers, without endless adverts to break up the programme. In the great scheme of things, it is worthwhile. However, not at all sure as to levying one charge on all households, unless it is a nominal sum.
Corntownman
16th Mar 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
The bbc is unique; owned and funded by the people. However, the time has come to get real and free the people from the tax of the licence fee (please note, licence has a "c", not with an "s" as in your headline!).
It would not be unrealistic to allow limited advertising between programmes, banning the ad breaks that annoy us so much.
This would allow either a licence fee reduction, a total scrapping of it, or the balance coming from General taxation.
johng121
10th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I think in this day and age it is outrageous that us the public the great license paying and tax paying public I find it insulting we have to bow down to the BBC the BBC are not the great establishment they think they are what with the Jimmy Saville incidents and also the icing on the cake was at a friend's house I had to endure and sit through an episode of the ridiculous
EastEnders to see Kat Slater fall out of a public house with children drunk it is just pure in your face disgusting why should we pay for this rubbish and why cant the BBC advertise and if the public want to watch the BBC let the fools pay for it
Mapek
10th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I dont even watch BBC or even terrestrial tv, what they should do is run adverts and make people who want to watch the beeb pay a subscription, i dont see why as i dont use the service i should have to help pay for exhorbitant wages , taxi,s and over p
riced meals and hotel rooms for the folks who work for this very poor tv company,and if we have to pay a flat rate i will go to prison first, the tv licence should be abolished, it ridiculous in this day and age, and i dont own a radio either.
bloss45
10th Mar 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
It is not "fee" it is in reality a TAX there to fund the politically biased BBC. It should be scrapped and the BBC required to sink or swim in the real world.
diane67
9th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
That's not fair as my son can't use a TV as he has no aerial as it costs to much, so why should he pay.
He is a carer for his wife, two children he doesn't get a lot of money in the first place. I pay for his mobile phone monthly so he has a phone if he needs one.
oldandgrumpy
9th Mar 2015
7
Thanks for voting!
The BBC have become a national disgrace in terms of bloated executive salaries and redundancy packages, bloated 'star' salaries and biased left wing politics from the politically correct, highly paid program managers. They should be made to stand upon there own two feet before these idiots kill what was a remarkable British institution.
celtwitch
9th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
There is always the option of simply not paying, when the man knocks on your door just stay silent, don't say a word when asked 'do you have a TV?' The majority of prosecutions have been single mums on council estates, the soft targets, who drop themselves in it by admitting to having a tellybox and watching it.
Mapek
10th Mar 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
By law now everyone selling a TV has to let the licencing people know if you have a tv, so they can keep abreast of the folks to steal from.
celtwitch
10th Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
It is stealing really isn't it? They have no moral entitlement to take our money for something that in a rich country like UK should be free.
If you buy a TV set the retailer has to inform the licensing authority, who will then write to you to break the news that you must cough-up £145,50 or suffer the consequences. If you ignore the letter they will write again, and again, and again. They might even send a Jobsworth round to intimidate you into admitting to breaking the law by watching the telly box without a licence.
You do not have to admit to having no licence and you do NOT have to allow them into your home.
Just make sure that the Jobsworth can't see your TV from the door or hear it.
You don't have to buy a licence and there is zilch they can do if you refuse to admit to watching unlicenced.
Just be sensible and you can save the cost of the licence each year.
malmar58
29th Apr 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I recently brought a new tv at Argus not one Question over the dam fund never been ask (do have a Licencis any how
Lizzielion
9th Mar 2015
-2
Thanks for voting!
I don't think there should be a levy on everyone. A television is not a necessity, so if people want one, they should pay the licence fee. I would object to paying if I didn't have a television.
BeeDee
9th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
The biggest issue with the TV Licence is that you can't get the money you have paid back from them when you have an empty house but still maintain the utility and council tax on it....they won't refund unless you can prove you have personally left and have a closing bill for these. They need to acknowledge that some of us have more than one place to live and that it will be empty until ready to rent out. They wouldn't even accept a copy of the new tenants agreement to rent the place from me!
Soozie63
9th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I do not agree with a levy on every household. MP's have been getting free licences which does not appear to have been public knowledge when they can well afford to pay! Also, if you watch on catch up you are already paying a fee through your internet provider which is not cheap! Why should we have to pay the licence fee and also Virgin or Sky?? This is a double fee!
Alveira
9th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I feel the licence is quite costly now especially if you are a pensioner.
Georgie4Girl
9th Mar 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I really believe if a levy was made people would treat it as they did the poll tax, let the public speak and have a vote on this!
Mapek
10th Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes so they changed the name to council tax raised the prices and we still have to pay this, its still the poll tax just a new name.
Georgie4Girl
9th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
The BBC have too much money from the public and seems to have a charmed life, things need to change
celtwitch
9th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
If the Beeb is the national treasure they claim it is then it should be free to watch, They could compete for advertising revenue like the other channels and charge a subscription for the more obscure channels.
They could also pay themselves and the 'stars' a rather more modest salary, at the moment it looks as though they can't wait to spend OUR money.
The Beeb is rabidly anti-Semitic and fawningly pro-Palestine, I will not allow them to have my money. We could all simply refuse to pay like they did in Australia, we have awesome power if only we pull together.
diane67
9th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
My husband & I have been saying this for years. It's nothing but repeats or sending the big stars here there & everywhere when they could afford to pay themselves
scandiman
11th May 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Coverage of the 70th anniversary of VE day was typical. Numerous BBC reporters really all saying the same things.
Same with election coverage. Why did they need all those people?
Billie Windsor
9th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I think everyone should pay a basic fee because nearly everyone listens to the radio at some time, in their car, at home, abroad. But what the basic fee should be is another question!
celtwitch
9th Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
£10 per year seems reasonable?
Luxburger
9th Mar 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Not everyone listens to a BBC radio station; many including me prefer non-BBC radio ... Absolute Radio being one of them. Why should anyone pay a fee to the BBC for listening to another company's station - ludicrous surely
Lizzielion
9th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
But the radio isn't covered by the licence.
Mapek
10th Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Having said that i would be more than willing to listen to cd,s or a talking book, i dislike the radio, anyway we listen to my daughters iphone most of the time, i could live quite nicely with out a radio,i dont have one in my home.
Barbiegran
9th Mar 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
I have not had a TV for almost 25 years and do not see why I should pay for a license for something I do not have and do not intent to get.
tripper123
9th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
the bbc is already far far too powerfull they must not be allowed to levy a fee on every household in the country.worse than poll tax
Robert2706
7th Mar 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Whilst I think those who use it should only have to pay it is very difficult to be certain of the best solution. There needs to be much better control of the funding, management and accountability of the licence fee already being received by The BBC. If theis can be resolved it would make the debate about the cost easier to decide on
Peter
6th Mar 2015
-2
Thanks for voting!
The BBC is a national treasure and should be nurtured and yes everyone should pay.

You just have to look at the total codswallop that is served up in other countries and on the commercial stations here just to please the advertisers. It is a total joy to be able to listen to amazing radio and view great TV programmes without intrusive advertising. The licence fee is incredible value for money when you compare it with subscription services like Sky. If you watch the BBC on catch up then of course you should pay.
ceb
5th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Why doesn't the government take the ££ for tv licences from the road tax - because it certainly isn't used for doing anything to the roads, that's for sure !!
jackj
5th Mar 2015
5
Thanks for voting!
Why not encode the service and only give access to those who pay (if they choose to do so)?
It used to be that radio and television were the only means of mass broadcasting and public information that helped both the government and people get information out or learn about things going on around the country/world.
Radio/TV was like a public service and in this case a tax was OK; but now there are other alternative ways to get information like the internet, private tv/radio stations, etc ... so I don't agree with paying for something that is not essential for our society. We should be paying for things like better schools, hospitals, roads, etc... not for something that we don't use/ can do without.
Entertainment/information should be something you choose to pay for.
Bazeley
5th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I don't believe that everyone should pay a levy - if you use the service then fine, but if you don't then you shouldn't have to pay. It's almost like a tax on viewing.
Baxi
5th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Gosh, I didn't know about this. As the licence fee also covers radio I think everyone should pay. The BBC is still regarded as the best news service in the world and they also produce some great documentaries, dramas and films. No organisation is perfect, but I think we're lucky to have the BBC.
Rob60
5th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I totally agree. The BBC produce the best documentaries, and news broadcasting in the world and is a service that makes me proud to be British. There's not many sectors that Britain lead, anymore.

I don't want this destroyed by privatisation and the politics and commercial propoganda that comes with that.
celtwitch
9th Mar 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Aren't you getting just a teeny bit tired of David Attenborough?
isabella
5th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I don't watch much television so I shouldn't need to pay for others to watch
nagonthenet
4th Mar 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
What if you don't have a telly and you don't do the catch up thing. That's hardly fair. Presumably no change for the exemption for blind people - certainly hope not.
Jo Kingham
4th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Well I've learnt something new - I had no idea you didn't have to have a license if you only watched catch up TV or on demand. Sorry Archiebald can't agree with you though. If you don't have a TV why should you be charged anything?
little owl
4th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
As most people who don't have TVs watch other people's other than the people who are against the idea of television. If it was done this way surely admin costs could be cut which are considerable.
Archiebald
4th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I think everyone should pay. I am sure the vast majority of people have a TV and a colour one at that. I know many people also use computers to watch i-player and see old programmes and think with the internet and the ability of people to watch TV shows online etc its probably time to rethink the BBC licence fee. Must cost them a fortune to collect it. Also if everyone had to pay maybe the fee would decrease?? probably wishful thinking!!

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