At last, a politician has accepted that broadcasting is changing, channels such as Sky Sports and Netflix charge a monthly fee, and BBC ratings are falling. She’s happy to hear evidence about how much revenue subscriptions from those who want to be supplied by the BBC would make.
The obvious question is why everyone has to ‘buy’ a channel they don’t watch, especially when it’s ‘stolen’ free licences from over-75s?
I’ve argued for years against this compulsory tax, especially as the BBC is now commercialising its production and international sales. In an era of food banks, slashed benefits even for the terminally ill, and many earning less than a so-called living wage, why should they be forced to pay the BBC?
We have Freeview, and many of those comfortably off are paying more for TV packages such as BT, Virgin and Sky providing hundreds of channels – including the BBC. No one has to directly pay other terrestrial channels.
The licence is a historical fee originally paid by those who owned broadcast-receiving equipment and watched the public broadcasting service – which is no longer any more objective or dutiful than other channels.
I’m only surprised a UK Tory MP rather than Labour suggested saving citizens some dosh.