back to article BBC Telly Tax petition given new Parliament debate date

Parliament has rescheduled its debate on the BBC TV Tax, after it was quietly canned thanks to the UK's snap general election earlier this year. A public petition against the BBC TV Licence fee was launched after The Register revealed that notorious outsourcing firm Capita, whose door-to-door salesmen collect the tax, took 71 …

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          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            If not a tax then what is it?

            A tax (from the Latin taxo) is a mandatory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer (an individual or other legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures.

            from Wikipedia

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      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.

      1. stu 19

        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.

    2. ad47uk

      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,

  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Two points.

    I don't watch the BBC and I don't want to pay for other people's entertainment.

    Secondly, men are more likely than women to tell people trying to get into their house to sod off.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      "Secondly, men are more likely than women to tell people trying to get into their house to sod off."

      You haven't met my mother.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "You haven't met my mother."

        You sure about that? Son...

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          "You sure about that? Son..."

          Da.... Dad? I thought you were dead?

          WHERE'S THE F**KING MONEY YOU OWE MOM?!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Da.... Dad? I thought you were dead?

            WHERE'S THE F**KING MONEY YOU OWE MOM?!"

            I just popped out to get some milk and the local shop didn't have any.

            I'll be back soon, I just need some money for the flight back

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        "Secondly, men are more likely than women to tell people trying to get into their house to sod off."

        You haven't met my mother.

        Or me.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ... or my mother in law.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More likely to be that women are more likely to be at home when the salesman calls and it is the one who answers the door who gets prosecuted.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Telly Tax Is Value For Money

      The BBC's main problem is Murdoch complaining about competition and demanding the BBC produces shit. The tories will be in a quandary tho as normally they'd love any opportunity to shut it down but now the BBC news is pretty much their puppet and they'd be doomed without it.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Telly Tax Is Value For Money

        Personally, I think they should do the same as Ch4 and put their archive on iPlayer, not just stuff that's aired recently.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Telly Tax Is Value For Money

      "What the BBC could do is transmit the back catalogue of programs in the dead time of BBC1 and BBC2. Why they transmit BBC News on BBC1, which is a repeat - BBC1, BBC1 HD, BBC News, BBC News HD - 4 copies. Utter waste."

      For fucks sake! You're encouraging more repeats of Dad's Army... We should be entitled to a refund every time that utter shite is repeated.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: For fucks sake!

        Stupid boy.

      2. Dominion

        Re: Telly Tax Is Value For Money

        10 down votes - unbelievable!

        Are you really all Dad's Army fans?? It's was vaguely amusing 40 years ago when they last made a new episode, but come on!

        1. MOV r0,r0

          Re: Telly Tax Is Value For Money

          Are you really all Dad's Army fans?? It's was vaguely amusing 40 years ago when they last made a new episode, but come on!

          It's largely about class and hence never gets old.

        2. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Telly Tax Is Value For Money

          Well you see, the thing about down votes, you see is that you're bound to get them, you see.

          Because they don't like an up-thumb.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Telly Tax Is Value For Money

            "Because they don't like an up-thumb."

            Don't panic! Don't panic!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Telly Tax Is Value For Money

      The late night OU programs were educational. I learnt stuff on there despite having come in from the pub. Running programs about coding, IT and STEM may help get this country out of it's hole where all we can do is buy into the drivel supplied by the US commercial channels.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "back catalogue of programs"

    Most back catalogues are now on the streaming services, Dr Who for example is on Netflix currently.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: "back catalogue of programs"

      Netflix would have paid handsomely for the material they licenced from the BBC back catalogue. However, that revenue stream goes into BBC Worldwide, and not Aunty Beeb, hence we still have to pay a licence fee.

      It could be interesting to see how the numbers stacked up if income from selling shows overseas was used to offset not having a licence fee.

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: "back catalogue of programs"

        BBC Worldwide money is already used by the BBC for making programmes.

        Eg BBC America co-production credits on some programmes including Dr Who and Top Gear if I recall

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "back catalogue of programs"

        Where does the money go in BBC Worldwide?

        It seems the BBC use pubic money to pay private production companies to provide output that is then sold.

        Who profits from this?

        I want to keep the BBC but do wish it were truly independent of commercial and political bias and not some kind of PC La La Land.

  4. MotorcyclesFish

    This all seems quaint and amusing

    From the perspective of one who has been disengaged for some years from the idea of TV watched when they want to send it out, rather than when I want to watch it.

    With plenty of high-quality subscription streaming services and some cracking educational channels on YouTube (the likes of Tom Scott, Feature History, Ten Minute History and Minute Earth), I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to still have a licence like that. The BBC is still chucking out quality content available elsewhere - one of my favourites, Orphan Black, is quite clearly announced as from the BBC before each episode starts on Netflix - and it seems to me that the broadcast delivery method and its associated tax are now obsolete, even if those engaged in it haven't realised yet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This all seems quaint and amusing

      You-tube content is far better than commercial TV. When I do occasionally see TV, I'm shocked at how little content is repeated within a single show. Add in the trailers for the program, and it gets really quite tedious.

      1. BongoJoe

        Re: This all seems quaint and amusing

        The BBC lost it for me when they fill in the first two or three minutes (the bit before the first advert break when they flog it to BBC America) with a preview of what's coming up in the rest of the programme.

        There's no need for that. We'll come to that in due course.

        1. BongoJoe

          Re: This all seems quaint and amusing

          Oh, and also the bit at the end of the programme: the one that's telling us what's coming next week.

          Again, no need to tell us because if your programme was decent enough we'd remember to tune in and watch next week. I'd rather that time were spent on actual content.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This all seems quaint and amusing

            It's to catch people tuning in to watch the next programme in the schedule

  5. Tezfair

    high % women?

    Most likely reason is women in households do the day to day paperwork. In my house the license is in the wifes name so I don't think there is anything to read into the high % being one sex over another.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: high % women?

      Rather odd this...

      Women under - represented in the boardroom? Result; complaints.

      Women over - represented in TV Licencing prosecutions? Result; complaints.

      Raise this on El Reg? Likely outcome - downvotes.

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: high % women?

        Rather odd this...

        and while we are raising conundrums, my oven is electric and gets hot but my fridge (also electric) is cold. How does that fucking work?

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: high % women?

          Pumping the heat from the fridge to the oven.

      2. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: high % women?

        I said the first time this issue came up.

        Single parent household living on benefits can't afford TV licenses and will be over represented. Those households will mostly be headed by women.

        I don't find a large proportion of those prosecuted for TV license violation being female at all surprising.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: high % women?

          I don't find a large proportion of those prosecuted for TV license violation being female at all surprising.

          However, for some that doesn't mean TPTB shouldn't be doing something about it...

          Caroline Levesque-Bartlett, an anti-Telly Tax campaigner, told The Register at the time of our investigation: “The David Perry Review brought this gender imbalance to light to Parliament in July 2015, and nothing has changed since.”

          ...

          "Sorry madam you can't have a TV licence in your name, we've filled our quota of women holders, is there a man in the house who could hold the licence for you?..."

          "Madam you don't have a TV licence, because I've already caught 14 women this week, I can only catch men for the rest of this week; I'll visit you next week"

    2. CustardGannet

      Re: high % women?

      Loathe as I am to ever say anything in defence of Crapita, one can hardly use the statistic as evidence of sexist bias on their part.

      The vast majority of people prosecuted for football hooliganism are men, does this indicate some anti-male bias on the part of the police ?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The BBC should be made a subscription service.

    That way all those people who think it's worth it can pay for it and enjoy it. While all the people who don't want it, don't have to subsides those who do. If the content really is worth it then they shouldn't have any problem making enough money.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @AC

      Unfortunately that wont happen because the delusion will be shattered. Simply people have to pay the BBC and complain against it. Yet people voluntarily part with money to pay for extra channels (sky/virgin/etc) which come littered with adverts.

      That alone demonstrates the desire and value of the extra channels while the BBC forces people to pay it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People keep saying how much they get hassled by capita when they dont have a tv licence.

    I dont believe it, you simply tell them you dont require one, and they leave you alone for 2 years. Either you are just ignoring any and all of their letters, or you are just lieing.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @AC

      Thats amazing! They leave you alone for 2 years! To be honest I would prefer they act like any other company and dont hassle me for not using their service. I would also prefer they didnt expect to tax me to use someone elses service instead of theirs!

  8. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Megaphone

    We all pay taxes for things we don't use.

    Simple answer is to add the charge to the Council tax and Commercial rates. Yes, I know you've said you don't have a TV, but tough, as I say, there are lots of things the country provides that we all pay for but never use, so why shouldn't state television be one of them.

    At least its not state controlled state television (you can place your own value on the amount of meddling by government connected people, but it is not state controlled television).

  9. TheTick

    Sigh

    As with every article about the telly tax a horde of commenters pop up telling us we should pay it because it's great value for money, no adverts etc etc.

    So here I am once again saying: If you think it's such great value for money then why are you so afraid of the thought of it no longer being a tax and being subscription instead? Surely plenty of people will pay it?

    The reality is you want other people to pay for the things you use to make it cheaper for you. In which case I'd like to institute a console tax to subsidise my PC gaming, you will support that won't you? No?

    The tax must go (but it won't).

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. TheTick

        Re: Sigh

        "then the PC target is already subsidised"

        Isn't a percent of every console game sale going direct to MS or Sony, which isn't the case with the PC?

        In which case no, we're not subsidised if the Sony/MS tax is more than £3 for Destiny 2 etc.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. TheTick

            Re: Sigh

            "Hi,

            Your claim was that PC sales should be subsidised by Consoles. To quote :"

            Err, I was being facetious you know, I don't really think they should be, just like I don't think the BBC should be.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Sigh

          Platform fee is about 20%

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Sigh

        Very strange comment about Destiny 2 but every player I have come across has ported their Destiny characters across.

        I do not know of anyone after the PC version.

        Everyone I know is on the PS4 or XB1.

        Oh and they do pay a % to MS and Sony as well.

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