This follows on from my last post about the BBC reviewing the free TV licenses currently given to all over 75’s.
The Beeb is launching a consultation, which means they would like to scrap free licences, but they don’t know if they can get away with it. So here are a few options they might like to consider :-
- Boldly bite the bullet and scrap it altogether —- people will be upset for a while, the Government will say it is shameful, but the stars obviously do need more money to pay for that change of clothes each day and their lavish lifestyles.
- Ask old people to voluntarily pay the license fee —- this has already been suggested as an idea, but I can’t see too many older people falling for it.
- Means test the entitlement ——- another bright idea, but it will cost a lot to administer unless they get more of those detector vans with the rotating aerials. Maybe they could disguise them as ice-cream vans.
- Some bright spark has already thought of raising the age of eligibility. Currently it’s 75, why not make it 105. There won’t be too many people claiming free licences then!
Here are some alternative suggestions for cutting the budget :-
- Sack all the staff with ‘assistant’ in their job title.
- Shut down the 24-hour news channel and just have 1 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock news.
- What’s BBC3 ? Does anybody watch it ? Would they notice if you closed it down?
- You might as well say the same for BBC4.
- There has been lots of concern about older presenters getting fired, so adopt a new policy of employing more over 75’s in future.
- Come to that why not give all the jobs to over 75’s ? I will bet they could be camera men and interviewers and editors and costume designers and everything else. Then with their higher salaries I am sure they would not mind paying the TV license.
There’s just one problem, which the BBC may have overlooked in considering removing free TV licences. Older people watch much more television than younger people. In particular they watch the BBC much more than other viewers. Younger viewers have already migrated to YouTube, Netflix and Spotify, if they watch TV at all.
Over 55’s account for 63% of all BBC 1 viewers, even though they only make up 31% of the UK population. News at one has 82% of its viewers over 55. Brassing all these older people off by charging for the licence fee could well result in the BBC having far less viewers and losing their place in the audience ratings. In turn this could mean the Government decides to reconsider the massive grant it already gives to the BBC.
This ought to make the BBC think twice before removing the free TV licences for older people.