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BBC Telly Tax petition given new Parliament debate date

aks

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

It's nothing to do with the equipment. That's always been true, but is even clearer since they've widened the scope to include PC's and mobile. The law's always been about streaming live programs. That's now been extended to include catchup of BBC programs using iPlayer. I'm not sure how long before iPlayer is put directly behind a paywall.

I have all the equipment, which now includes having a PC or mobile.

I don't watch any live TV as I gave up doing that about 15 years ago and haven't had a licence during that time. I've even got the letter from TV Licencing confirming that I don't need one.

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Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

And yet the BBC ran a campaign several years ago pointing out that they made unique programs because of the unique way they are funded. The TV tax is a payment to the BBC, don't believe the spin. If the BBC are so good why don't they go subscription like sky? I mean idiots shell out for Sky crap so why not for the BBC?

People pay for Sky because they want to. People pay the BBC because they have to and are forced to do so under threat of a criminal record. The BBC should put up or shut up. I'll never give the BBC a penny. After the way they discriminate against women (low pay) and shield kiddy fiddlers. They pay millions to key 'talent' and believe they need to win ratings over ITV. They should in competition with nobody.

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Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

Fine, those who want it should be paying for it them, leave the rest of us to have a choice

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Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

Because those kids will be paying taxes, you've just posted an old pathetic excuse

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aks

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

Channel 4 is government owned, with advertisements.

If the BBC switched to that model, the TV Licence could disappear. They do have some ads but they only promote BBC TV, radio and events.

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aks

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

Shades of Poll Tax.

The amount of people with no TV who would simply refuse to pay such a tax would approach 100%.

It's much more likely that the government would give money to the BBC out of general taxation which would rise to compensate or simpler still by adding to the country's annual deficit.

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Re: Please someone tell me why I should pay the license fee?

CH4 is a public service, wakey wakey

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

The frequency doesn't bother me, I simply refuse to make any form of contact when it will (A) cost in terms of postage, or phone call, and (B) does not guarantee anything to stop them turning up to "inspect my home".

So they will (again) get a "go away" comment if they should turn up and wake me again, the same as the last 2 times. A few times a year they tell me they will visit on some date (within 2 weeks) but shockingly, they never do. I would love them to make the appointment so I can charge them 500 quid for me taking time from my consultancy work to be home that just for them to "inspect".

NB 500 quid was plucked from thin air... I once charged 1500 for about 15 minutes work (and the client was happy, as I saved them thousands, hence the large fee).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

"watch or record television programmes" might be where someone would complain there is no "Netflix channel" on any terrestrial or satellite broadcaster serving the UK, so the service does not meet the normally understood terms of being a television service.

Material is, as a consequence, not a television programme, but more akin to some video podcast, such as can be viewed on YouTube and other platforms, and is "on demand" without necessarily having a scheduled time for "broadcast". I think it is true to say that there's no "oversight" of content on Netflix or YouTube by UK regulators (Ofcom or whatever), as their services are not based in the UK.

I think I'll set up a subscription service for porn VOD based outside the UK...

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Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

i listen to two things on radio four, both panel shows and that is it, I would not pay the TV tax for that, anyway, radio is free to listen to, no need to pay TV tax.

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Re: Please someone tell me why I should pay the license fee? @sabroni

"This isn't a subscription service, it's a tax to fund a public broadcaster."

If it's a tax, levy it on a scale like income tax.

Instead of charging viewers indiscriminately, regardless of ability to pay.

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Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

>>I have spent several years ignoring the TVL letters sent to me on a ridiculously frequent basis...

>If the frequency starts to bother you, just answer one. I now get just one email every four years which

>I think simply exists for people to perjure themselves should they get caught out.

I did answer one - hence ignoring the remainder.

That was after doing the online declaration as well...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

Bet you still need to pay a fee for that, you may as well pay for the real thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Please someone tell me why I should pay the license fee? @sabroni

Like vehicle tax?

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Stop

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

>"The frequency doesn't bother me, I simply refuse to make any form of contact when it will (A) cost in terms of postage, or phone call, and (B) does not guarantee anything to stop them turning up to "inspect my home".

You can always email enquiries@tvlicensing.co.uk, use the form at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/cs/contact-us/question.app or send an unstamped letter to Customer Services, TV Licensing, Darlington, DL98 1TL. It's the address for cheque payment, so they will accept it.

Just tell them you have withdrawn their Implied Right of Access, and if they still keep threatening to send the boys round you'll take action under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.

That will stop them hassling you ! In any case, they do not have any right to enter your property without a search warrant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

I'd say that funding education for the younger generation is important. (Though British education is a joke, you'd be better off raising your kids overseas.)

But funding TV just so people can rot their brains on crap like Jeremy Kyle? Fuck off.

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Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

"If only that were still true, DailyLlama. Unfortunately, all BBC programmes are seperated buy long avertising cycles, on both TV and radio. On radio, news programmes are also routinely interrupted, sometimes every 8 ot 10 minutes, for a short advertising slot. The ads themselves are usually for future BBC programs, or just promoting the BBC itsellf. Just adverts for themselves, no more."

That's fine, I have no issue with that, but I can't stand watching a program where the titles run, then there's an ad break. You get 10-15 minutes of action, then another ad break, then another 10-15 minutes of action, and another ad break, then a final ad break before the credits roll. What kind of way is that to watch anything?

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Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

"A TV Licence is a legal permission to install or use television receiving equipment to watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, and to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer. This could be on any device, including TVs, desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, games consoles, digital boxes, DVD, Blu-ray and VHS recorders. This applies regardless of which television channels a person receives or how those channels are received. The licence fee is not a payment for BBC services (or any other television service), although licence fee revenue is used to fund the BBC."

Highlighted the important bits. Its not for using a TV, its to watch live TV, and live streamed content. Not non-BBC on demand content.

"It is an offence to watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on any channel and on any broadcast platform (terrestrial, satellite, cable and the internet) or download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer without a valid TV Licence."

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Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

Are you sure that "dumbed down for 11 year olds" isn't about your level ?

"i have'nt watched nothing on the BBC for 20 years" -> "I haven't watched anything on the BBC for 20 years" reads much better. My 10 year old wouldn't have made those grammatical errors.

I suspect you may be trolling.

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Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

Even applies to Radio 3 ('The Third Programme') which is nowadays infested by irrelevant music clips that fade annoyingly into smug voiceovers advertising another programme altogether. Just play the music, folks!

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Bronze badge

Why should I pay the telly tax if I don't even have a telly? You lot probably want nonsmokers to pay tobacco duty as well don't you?

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Telly Tax

I was always under the impression that if you don't have a TV or other methods of receiving live TV then you don't need a Telly License. Getting difficult to police with streaming services and 4K or 5K monitors being attached or part of a Computer but there you go.

I'd rather watch paint dry than some of the pure shite that is on commercial TV that has one poster already said, is peppered with adverts every 10 minutes. Anything that is worth watching gets recorded and the PVR skips over the ads but I'd like to watch stuff like the TdF live it gets really annoying to have all those endless ads for funeral plans, over 50's life assurance, that idot standing on the wing of a bi-plane and other such crap. They are almost enough to drive one to an early grave.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Telly Tax

all those endless ads for funeral plans, over 50's life assurance, that idot standing on the wing of a bi-plane and other such crap. They are almost enough to drive one to an early grave.

At least if you do head for an early grave, you can do so in the knowledge that you can pass on a financial legacy to your nearest-and-dearest, and have the funeral planned and paid for.

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Why should you pay for the NHS if you haven't been to the doctor this year?

Why should you pay for subsidies for telecoms connections to poor rural households when you have plenty of money / don't use a phone / live in a city?

Why should you pay for pavement repairs when you drive everywhere?

Why should you pay for street lighting when you carry a torch if you go out at night.

Why should you pay for a police force if you don't commit crimes or get burgled?

Why should you pay for people to monitor riverwater when you don't even fish?

Why should you pay for schools if all your kids are grown up?

...

Taxes are paid, a small amount by all, to pay the large amounts for the few. That's how they work.

To be honest, I'd be quite happy to scrap TV licensing and actually just tax TV purchases. Literally put a 10% import / sales tax on new TV's. Problem solved. No complicated paperwork, no real evasion of it, easy to enforce (just tax the importers/manufacturers like you do for all kinds of things anyway), and then put the funds. Bigger, luxury TV's with all the knobs on would be charged more than tiny little screens, etc. Or even a tax on streaming services, there's no reason you couldn't tax Netflix/Amazon Prime/Google Play/etc. or subscription providers (Virgin, Sky, etc.) and make them increase their prices to reflect that.

The administration, legislation and enforcement of such licensing must cost me more than the BBC ever sees from my paying it. And I've lived without a TV for many years in the past, I didn't miss any of it. It's now literally the "something to watch while eating tea" phase of my life, and anything I do watch is purchased streams/DVDs of old shows and very, very rarely anything new.

When the tax rule is anything more complicated than "some percentage of an amount we collect anyway", without lots of disclaimers, exceptiosn and differences, the administrative costs just don't make it worthwhile. "10% on every new TV sold" is easy to implement, collect, enforce and prove evasion of. But they should have done it a year pre-digital, and THEN they could have raked in enough to keep the BBC going for 10 years on that.

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Re: Telly Tax

And you can write your last will and testament with the free pen.

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"To be honest, I'd be quite happy to scrap TV licensing and actually just tax TV purchases. Literally put a 10% import / sales tax on new TV's. Problem solved. "

Most TVs are around the £300 mark. So that's a tax of £30 for a TV that will last say 5 years.

Your Tax will raise £6 per year leaving a shortfall of about £141.

The Licence fee brings in £3.7billion per year.

There are about 27m TVs in the UK. If they last 5 years then the Tax per TV would have to be £685 per set. This could be a tax of 200% on the average TV. Combine that with the fact that people wouldn't then replace their TVs until they were kaput, and they'd also be a massive repair and secondhand market and you could easily see the 5 year renewal become 10 year or more.

You're now looking at a tax of perhaps £1,500 which would exacerbate the problem more and no-one could ever afford a new TV and everyone would just use a PC or buy them form Europe (While still in the free market).

So do you then Tax every PC as well? That'll go down well.

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Happy

Re: Telly Tax

You only need a UK TV license if you want to watch or record any live TV channel, on whatever service it's on, BBC, ITV, Sky, Virgin, Amazon Channels etc. , by whatever methods are available (TV, computer, mobile phone, tablet etc) and you do not use the BBC iPlayer.

If you only watch catch-up or non-live streaming services not on BBC iPlayer then you do not need a TV license.

Personally I quite like HIGNFY , QI, Mock the week and Horizon programmes so think that for £2.80 per week it's reasonable value for money.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/tv-licence

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Lee D

Wise words, well put...and as such, probably f***-all chance of ever being put into legislation by any government.

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It's not a tax, it's a licence fee. Tobacco duty is that the level of this is set by the government and the government can do what they want with it: it's supposed to be spent on the increased medical care that smokers need but basically the government can and does do what they want with it.

The licence fee, while negotiated with parliament, goes to the BBC and this is the best way to provide an element of independence and objectivity for the media, above and away stupid attempts to be "fair and balanced" by treating all idiots equally. With financial independence the BBC acts as an anchor for the rest of the broadcast media to measure itself against and compete with. The BBC isn't perfect so commercial operators can compete with it over both quality and ratings.

Arguments about technology are wilfully designed to miss the point: the mixed market of British broadcast media: giving people what they want isn't the same as giving them a choice.

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@ Lee D

Why should you pay for schools if all your kids are grown up?....et al

Your examples are all essential services mostly provided or regulated by a monopoly provider. Independent provision exists in some of your examples but (as you well know) that isn't for the same universal, free at point of use service.

And that's why your argument is rubbish - the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly, they provide regulation, they don't manage the transmission monopoly, and (no matter what you claim about the "quality" of the Beeb) there are independent broadcasters of good quality. And unlike those services that are tax funded, the Beeb is not free at point of use. You pay if you use the service, (along with a minority who don't use it, but are unfortunate enough to be caught in the scope of "owning and using a TV, or watching iPlayer"). But it is a selective tax - it can be legally avoided, unlike the unhypothecated taxes that go to (say) streetlighting or education, and so it isn't really "free at point of use".

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Re: the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly

Agreed. However, the BBC is required by law to be impartial. Commercial stations just have to make a profit and keep their owners happy. That's a pretty big difference and one that I think is worth paying for.

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@ Lee D

"Taxes are paid, a small amount by all"

Ho ho ho.

Last financial year I was taxed 35% from my salary alone. Total, not marginal (I include employers NI as well because, yes, that is a tax on the employee despite the name). Add on to that council tax, car tax, VAT and all the rest and it could well be in the 40-45% range or more. My salary was above average but only a bit above the 40% rate so hardly rolling in dough.

40-45% of a slightly above average earner's annual pay is not "a small amount".

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Lee D - tax on TVs

Putting tax on TV sets themselves would be interesting, given that once you reach a certain age you don't need to pay for the TV licence.

There'd need to be system in place whereby you can buy your telly tax-free if you show your pension book. Pensioners could start up a black market in selling on TVs that hadn't had telly tax paid at time of purchase

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly

However, the BBC is required by law to be impartial.

Is that why its agenda is endless faux diversity handwringing, that it doesn't practice itself? Or why R4 "comedy" programmes are platforms for unfunny twerps whose repertoire of jokes are all about the Conservative party (which is a joke, just not a funny one)? Or why it hasn't done a single piece of big ticket investigative journalism since the Gilligan/Kelly affair, where the government put the screws on the BBC, who caved in like the bunch of lightweights they are?

The Beeb is about as impartial as Fox News or Russia Today, but unlike those two there's a big gulf between the majority who fund it, and the Liberal People's Republic of Islington for whom the Beeb speak.

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Ha, the revenue for tobacco duy is about 6bn and the increased NHS costs are a bout 2bn. That's the real reason smoking is just not banned outright.

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Re: the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly

"the BBC is required by law to be impartial."

So why are they not in prison?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Telly Tax

> commercial TV that has one poster already said, is peppered with adverts every 10 minutes

Try watching TV in the USA then... every 3 minutes it feels like.

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Re: @ Lee D

And that's why your argument is rubbish - the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly

No, but it makes the discussion ideological. I, and many others, would argue that a public service (and not state) broadcaster is a key element in keeping citizens informed, something that is essential in a functioning democracy. This is not incompatible with free markets to have members that are not entirely motivated by profits; as the success of the BBC / ITV duopoly from 1957 until the early 1990s shows. Along with the football-based success of Sky, ITV became its own worst enemy.

For examples of an entirely "market-based" approach you can look at newspapers or social media: chasing market share at all costs combined with the exponential rise of partisan echo chambers.

So the calls from politicians (of all colours) to do something about the BBC are almost always ideologically motivated and why the charter should occasionally be reviewed but always renewed.

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Re: the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly

Is that why its agenda is endless faux diversity handwringing

Endless is an exaggeration but for an explanation: it's relatively easy (and cheap) to do this kind of tokenism and thus assuage some very vocal critics. But it does carry the risk of alienating rather than engaging others.

It's also easier to take pot shots at the Tories at the moment because, to many people's surprise, the Labour Party has largely managed to unite behind Corbyn and his unfeasible but popular policies. The pendulum will no doubt swing back the other way in time.

The Beeb is about as impartial as Fox News or Russia Today…

This is hyperbolic nonsense.

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Re: the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly

Agreed. However, the BBC is required by law to be impartial. Commercial stations just have to make a profit and keep their owners happy. That's a pretty big difference and one that I think is worth paying for.

Sky News do a great job and arguably outpaced the Beeb some time ago. MP's expenses, the biggest political scandal of my generation, was broken by The Telegraph. Meanwhile the Beeb quash Jimmy Savile stories while bothering the airspace over Cliff Richard's house and there are certainly many individuals within the BBC who are anything but impartial.

It's not as good as some people think it is, it's certainly not good value (it's just that lots of people pay which get the individual price down) and while it exists it stops something good coming along to replace it.

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Joke

Re: RE: Lee D - tax on TVs

There'd need to be system in place whereby you can buy your telly tax-free if you show your pension book.

Old people got all the money!

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Re: the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly

Labour Party has largely managed to unite behind Corbyn

Nope, he has achieved popularism but he's leading the most divided Labour Party there has ever been.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't belieeeeeve it!

How prophetic Victor Meldrew was and is. Oh yes, that was the BBC too.

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Taxes are paid, a small amount by all, to pay the large amounts for the few. That's how they work.

This is the real problem with the TV licence, it is perhaps the only form of taxation where currently all monies are collected independently of HMRC and are reinvested in TV services and specifically the BBC.

However, given the TV Licence is fundamentally a tax and government is in need of ways to increase revenue without increasing taxation. The question has to be whether the government really will abolish the TV Licence and allow the BBC to become funded by other means, or whether they will allow the BBC to be funded by other means, but retain the TV Licence revenues and bring the collection process in-house...

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Anonymous Coward

@TheTick - Last financial year I was taxed 35% from my salary alone. Total, not marginal (I include employers NI as well because, yes, that is a tax on the employee despite the name).

Not a higher rate taxpayer then... My figure is 47%.

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If you do not have a TV you do not have to pay, in fact even if you have a Tv you do not have to pay as long as you do not watch live Tv or use Iplayer for T.V.

you can still use Iplayer for radio,

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Re: the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly

"

Agreed. However, the BBC is required by law to be impartial. Commercial stations just have to make a profit and keep their owners happy. That's a pretty big difference and one that I think is worth paying for.

"

Or looking at that point another way, commercial stations have to keep their viewers happy otherwise hey go out of business. BBC executives can still trouser 7-figure incomes even if the output is so shite that nobody watches it.

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Re: the Beeb don't do anything that is or requires a natural monopoly

"Or why R4 "comedy" programmes are platforms for unfunny twerps whose repertoire of jokes are all about the Conservative party"

Are you too young to remember when Radio 4 "comedy" programmes were platforms for unfunny twerps whose repertoire of jokes were all about the Labour party?

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Re: Telly Tax

"Try watching TV in the USA then... every 3 minutes it feels like."

And huge banner ads across the bottom of the screen after the show has restarted too. Not to mention the far more blatant product placement.

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"Not a higher rate taxpayer then... My figure is 47%."

Not anymore (just made redundant), but I was then (just above it).

It's quite possible I have forgotten to add some of the many other taxes they hit us with so I can quite believe your figure is correct.

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