United Kingdom

BBC licence fee will NOT be axed – and those who do not pay will still be criminalised

Following a public consultation last February, the Government said it “remains concerned that a criminal sanction for TV licence evasion is increasingly disproportionate and unfair in a modern public service broadcasting system”.

The Government added how there could be damaging consequences for the public if the current system is abandoned.

Ministers also said how the Government remained determined any change to the TV licence enforcement scheme “should not be seen as an invitation to evade the TV licence requirement, nor should it privilege the rule-breaking minority over the rule-abiding majority”.

It added: “The issue of decriminalisation will remain under active consideration while more work is undertaken to understand the impact of alternative enforcement schemes.”

However, the Defund The BBC campaign group has lashed out at the Government for “hiding behind the threat of bailiffs”.

The campaign group tweeted: “The Government is hiding behind the threat of bailiffs, despite the fact they can’t demand to inspect your home or send threats without proof of money owed.

“In truth, they’ve actively chosen to continue discriminatory prosecution of the vulnerable to save the BBC.”

However, a BBC spokesperson said the current system remains the “fairest and most effective”.

They said: “The current system remains the fairest and most effective.

READ MORE: BBC licence fee row erupts as UK will NOT decriminalise non-payment

Over recent months, the BBC has faced ongoing criticism after scrapping free TV-licences for most over-75s.

The corporation also faced accusations of depicting people from working-class backgrounds negatively and subject to ridicule.

During the general election in 2019, senior Tory MPs attacked the BBC accusing the corporation of bias.

The Conservative party won several Labour-stronghold seats in the North of England over promises of Brexit and reforming the BBC.

But the Defund The BBC campaign group previously warned Mr Johnson could risk losing the red wall voters if he fails to deliver on election promises.

Rebecca Ryan, campaign director at Defund the BBC, told Express.co.uk: “If he does not deliver on promises he could lose the Red Wall.

“It’s very clear there were a huge amount of votes that were lent to the Conservative Party based on their promises basically for reforming the establishment in a lot of ways.

“Certainly delivering Brexit and on dealing with the BBC as well.

“You can look at it and say he has got another four years anyway, in the interim if he can claw that back.

“But if he doesn’t deliver on those, there would be a huge amount of people voting against Conservatives in the country.”


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