It’s been reported today that the BBC has spent £13.5million over four years in chasing down unpaid TV licence fees.
The Sun reports that the corporation have sent out 85million threatening letters – or ‘threatograms’ as they’ve been dubbed – to Brits suspected of not having a TV licence, and who pays for it? The people who do pay the licence fee.
The letters, which contain a threat to prosecute the ‘offenders’ and fine them £1,000, read, “If we don’t hear from you, our Enforcement Division will schedule a visit. Should the investigation find you are watching TV illegally, you could be prosecuted.”
The revelation of the huge cost of chasing unpaid fees was made when The TaxPayers’ Alliance exercised the right to insist the BBC disclose the figures under the Freedom of Information act…
But the paper adds, “However, it refused to disclose how much it splashed out on ‘paper, ink, printing, finishing and enclosing’ the letters, saying the service was sub-contracted to Communis Group.”
Emma Boon, the spokeswoman for The TaxPayers’ Alliance said, “This is a staggering amount.
“With no information about how successful these campaigns were, it is hard to see the justification for sending out so many bullying letters.
“The BBC should focus on making it cheaper and easier to pay for a TV licence.”
As regular readers of Primetime may know, the issue of the licence fee is one that I have something of a bee in my bonnet over because I believe it’s outdated, unenforceable and just plain unfair to those who are most easily forced to pay up, such as pensioners.
And yet again, I cannot see any good reason why the BBC can’t become commercially sponsored. It’s ridiculous that the corporation is still hanging on to a business model that’s over half a century old.
What say you?