TV licence fee fury grows as petition demands BBC levy is abolished once and for all | Personal Finance | Finance

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A petition has been launched to abolish the and make the BBC into a subscription service.

Garnering signatures from more than 7,800 supporters so far, petitioners expressed their opposition towards the hefty charge that currently sets people back £159 a year.

Marie Davism, who launched the petition, wrote: “The licence is more expensive than a lot of subscriptions, and I believe we should have the choice as to whether we pay to watch it.”

After a petition reaches 10,000 responses, the Government are inclined to respond. At 100,000 signatures, petitions are considered for a debate in parliament.

The deadline for signatures for this petition falls on April 25, 2024.

The BBC’s TV licence fee has faced widespread criticism in recent months following the announcement that it’ll increase in April by 6.6 percent.

This will bring the annual fee to a total of £169.50 a year, and anyone who watches live TV or streams BBC iPlayer must pay it.

Christie Cook, managing director of retail at Hodge said: “As it stands, households are now paying an annual cost of £159. However, the proposed £10 increase set for April surpasses the fees of leading streaming platforms.

“This hike equates to £37.12 more than a standard Netflix subscription, £61.12 higher than Amazon Prime or Disney+, and £49.12 more than Now TV.

“Our own research shows that more than 30 percent of people have reduced spending on monthly subscriptions in the past 12 months.”

However, Ms Cook noted: “Allocating just £0.83 per month to your savings account can cover this extra £10 a year.

“The real question here is whether UK households are willing to forego this annual fee and endure ads between their favourite TV shows and movies.”

In some instances, people can apply for discounts on their licence ranging between 50 percent and 100 percent. In other instances, people may find they don’t need a TV licence at all.

When do you need a TV licence?

Households need a TV licence if they want to watch or record TV programmes live as they’re broadcast. This includes all programmes on any channel.

The same rules apply even if said programmes are being broadcast live on a PC, laptop, tablet or phone, rather than a TV.

A licence is also needed if a household downloads or watches programmes broadcast on BBC iPlayer – live, catch up, or demand.

The licence also covers online TV services such as ITV Hub, All 4, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV or Sky Go.

However, unlike with BBC iPlayer, a licence is not needed if a person only ever watches on-demand programmes on the TV services listed above.

So, if a household finds themselves only watching catch-up TV (not including BBC iPlayer), they won’t need a TV licence – as long as they’re not using the TV services to watch anything live.

Households also don’t need a TV licence to watch streaming services like Netflix or Disney+.


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