Britons call for ‘rip off’ TV licence fee to be scrapped

‌The TV licence must be paid by all those who want to watch BBC iPlayer and/or live television, regardless of the channel, but not everyone is happy to do so.

According to a survey from Ready Steady Cut, only 31 percent of respondents provided positive remarks with regards to the TV licence.

The negative sentiments expressed suggest a deep-seated dissatisfaction with the current fee, with some viewing it as an unnecessary burden during times of economic hardship.

Many respondents said they were “angry” about paying the fee, describing it as a “tax”, a “rip off”, and a “waste of money”.

One said: “I feel the BBC is dumbing down too much. I see far more cooking programmes than needed, too many so-called celebrities and repeats.

“They might as well have advertising as the breaks between programmes are normally always filled with trailers for iPlayer and the like. These are things I can’t stand.”

Some took issue with the 2020 change which saw a free TV licence only apply to over 75s on Pension Credit when previously it was available to all over the age of 75.

Free TV licences for over 75s were funded by the Government, but following a pubic consultation the BBC Board decided to make the change as the “fairest option to help the poorest pensioners”.

One viewer wrote: “I’m frustrated. My mother was forced to pay for her licence even though she is 82, and there’s been nothing on since.”

Similarly, another said: “It’s disgraceful. As a pensioner with a disabled husband, it used to be free. Either it should be free as before or reduced.”

Others suggested there should be reform to change the current approach to the fee or to the corporation as a whole.

An unnamed respondent said: “I pay for Sky too, so I feel I shouldn’t have to pay separately for the TV License. It should be included with your subscription price.”

Not everyone, however, was against the TV licence, with the survey garnering some positive comments when it comes to the fee.

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Some suggested the ad-free service is good, while others valued the BBC’s role as a provider of solid content.

One person said: “The BBC does a great job. Without it, I can see the media going the same way as the US which I don’t believe would be good for British society as a whole.

“I feel higher levels of subscription use lead to a more myopic view in society, drifting to extremes.”

Another person explained they are happy to pay the fee, adding they would do so to “have a channel that is not beholden to advertisers or owners”.

A viewer stated: “I’m really happy to pay for my TV licence, it’s such good value! Not just TV of the highest quality, also radio, the website, and the miracle that is iPlayer.”

Indeed, there were also some individuals who were neutral on the matter – 12 percent in total.

Some referred to the fee as simply a legal requirement, while others were happy to pay as it is “what they have always done”.

Others have decided to ditch the TV licence, not due to their disagreement with the fee, but simply due to the evolution of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

These services do not require the TV licence to be paid, as long as Britons are solely watching through these platforms and not viewing live television. has contacted TV Licensing asking for comment.

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