Saturday, May 10, 2014


A STING IN THE TAIL...

For well over 50 years now, I have faithfully paid the BBC licence fee, admittedly somewhat grudgingly as I have a rebellious nature as far as any form of compulsion is concerned.   A few weeks ago, I had an e-mail telling me that my licence fee of £145.50 for the coming year was now due.  However, the small print revealed that if you were about to reach the age of 75 in the coming year, there was `a process` by which your fee could be reduced to reflect the fact that, after 75, you wouldn`t have to pay it any more.

Seemed like a good deal and, as I will reach that milestone in a couple of months time, I embarked on `the process.`  It wasn`t too difficult although the Licensing outfit are taking their time about it, presumably to work out the amount that I might have to pay.  So, negotiations are continuing but my guess is that I might be asked/forced to pay about £30 which will give me access to extremes ranging from this evening`s excruciating banality of Graham Norton and the Eurovision Song Contest to the glories of Radio 4 and BBC Four.

But there`s a sting in the tail, of course.   There always is.  As the picture above shows, even the Chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport has joined the rising clamour for the licence fee to be scrapped.   Why do they wait until I reach the point of not having to pay it anyway before it seems increasingly likely that it might be done away with entirely?   

I detect a cunning plan.  It`s simple really.  One of the slight regrets I might have for being immune to the compulsory fee is that I may feel perhaps a little reluctant to complain about the BBC and its alleged organisation - and there is more than enough to complain about.   But if the licence fee is done away with and nobody has to pay it any more then maybe that reluctance will become more widespread, which will suit the BBC rather nicely.

2 comments:

Ray Turner said...

I'm fully expecting all the things I've subsidised over the years to be scrapped just as I'm old enough to claim them. The free TV Licence is a good example, but the Winter Fuel Allowance, free bus-passes are some other good examples.

Hope you enjoy Eurovision Snopper.
I will not be watching this year.

I still don't have a TV Licence.
Its nearly 12 months now, since I stopped watching.

Snopper said...

Thanks, Ray. But watch out - the day might come when you need a licence not to have a TV :-(