Eh? You mean they don\’t already?

BBC bosses fear that the coalition government is gearing up for a £500m-plus raid on the licence fee, by forcing the broadcaster to meet the full cost of free television licences for the over 75s.

The benefit – which was introduced by Gordon Brown when he was chancellor – costs £556m, and is currently paid for out of general taxation. But ministers are considering passing the bill on to the BBC as part of this week\’s comprehensive spending review.

I\’m shocked that they don\’t already carry this cost.

So that\’s an easy one: stick the BBC with the bill, pronto.

6 comments on “Eh? You mean they don\’t already?

  1. Or better yet, charge over-75s for the cost of TV licences like everyone else. It’s simpler and more transparent.
    If the government really wishes it can raise payments to over-75s by the cost of a TV licence and let the oldies decide how to spend their money.

  2. Ah yes, Gordon’s popular budget announcement, how Labour cheered and jeered at the Tories – which stealth tax did he hide behind that announcement I wonder?

  3. “Or better yet, charge over-75s for the cost of TV licences like everyone else. It’s simpler and more transparent.”

    Oooh! I’ve got an even better idea: abolish the licence fee or – even better – the BBC. Let people pay for it if they really want it.

  4. It isn’t even sticking the BBC with a bill. No licence fee is collected from thems o there is no money for the BBC to collect. What is happening is that the government is thinking about not bunging them another £556 mill. Obviously their decision will be in no way influenced by whether the BBC continues to lie & censor, but more in the Cleggeronian than the Bliarite cause now, not that there is much difference

  5. This doesn’t make sense. Reduce the licence fee by that amount and then pay for it for over 75s out of taxation. But otherwise this is just more muddying the purpose of various policies and adding complexity – a bit like using the higher-rate tax allowance for things which it is not suited. You might as well ask the electricity and gas companies to pay the winter fuel allowance.

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