Good to see that the nice people at TV Licensing, collecting the increasingly invidious and questionable license fee for the BBC, continue to get a well-deserved kicking from MPs and campaigners for the heavy-handed way they try to bully money out of people who don’t need a licence, the better to bolster the £3.7 billion they get in annual funding, and to make excessive pay-offs to former BBC executives.
The author’s own experience, following a few months when a TV was installed at his office for an editing job and the licence fee was paid for that year, is no doubt typical – 35 wasteful letters from various (fictional?) nonentities at TV Licensing in the 12 years since, threatening visits and detector vans. When they have been advised, in 2001 and 2004, that no TV equals no licence requirement they have written back to advise that a percentage of the criminals they deal with lie about this and that they will therefore be investigating anyway.
Time was, prior to commercial TV, Freeview and the internet the BBC might have deserved their easy money in compulsory and legally-backed licence fees but the model now needs an overhaul.