Should the compulsory TV licence fee be scrapped? Have your say in our poll

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 9:04 am
Updated Monday, 14th June 2021, 6:40 am
Calls have been made for far-reaching reform of the BBC

Calls have been made for far-reaching reform of the BBC in the aftermath of the Princess Diana Martin Bashir interview scandal.

An inquiry into Bashir’s controversial interview with the late Princess found the BBC covered up ‘deceitful behaviour’ used by the journalist to secure the interview.

Now questions are being asked about the governance and funding of the broadcasting corporation.

The BBC is funded by the licence fee - which households across the UK are required to pay by law for watching or recording live television.

It is also required to receive video on demand programme services provided by the BBC via its iPlayer service.

The TV licence fee has been labelled as undemocratic by some and there have been calls for it to be scrapped.

We have produced a short survey to ask you for your thoughts on the licence fee, if it should be scrapped or changed and whether the not the BBC is in need of reform.

[The survey is now closed]

What is the TV licence fee and how does it work?

The licence, originally a radio licence, was first introduced by the Wireless Telegraphy Act in 1923.

In 1991, the BBC assumed the role of TV Licensing Authority with responsibility for the collection and enforcement of the licence fee.

In January 2006, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) changed the classification of the licence fee from a service charge to a tax.

The standard TV licence fee costs £159 per household per year and is collected by the BBC and primarily used to fund the radio, television and online services of the BBC itself.

A person who watches or records live TV without being in possession of a TV licence is referred to by the BBC as a 'TV licence evader' and can face criminal prosecution.

The maximum penalty for anyone who doesn’t pay their licence fee is £1,000 but if the person refuses to pay the fine they can be imprisoned.