BBC: TV licence fee decriminalisation being considered

The authorities is to comprehend into myth whether or no longer failure to pay the TV licence price ought to conclude to be a prison offence, a Treasury minister has acknowledged.

Rishi Sunak confirmed High Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a review of the sanction for non-price of the £154.50 payment, which funds the BBC.

Prosecution for non-price of the associated price can at describe outcome in a court docket appearance and capability dazzling of as much as £1,000.

But the BBC warned decriminalisation would possibly perhaps attach it £200m a year.

The Sunday Telegraph reported the session had been ordered by the PM after the Conservatives won a majority of 80 eventually week’s election.

Requested whether or no longer non-price of the associated price ought to be decriminalised, Mr Sunak told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Recount: “That is something the head minister has acknowledged we’re going to see at, and has in fact useful other folks to see at that”.

“I mediate or no longer it’s generous to negate other folks procure the criminalisation of non-price of the licence price to be something that has provoked questions previously,” he acknowledged.

Mr Sunak did no longer give an explanation for on an different scheme that would perhaps be old to put into effect price of the TV licence.

On the opposite hand a previous authorities review in 2015 seemed into whether or no longer a stunning for non-price would perhaps be issued under civil law as a substitute, much like the fees for breaking parking, bus lane and congestion payment principles.

The review also examined whether or no longer unpaid TV licence fees ought to be thought of as a civil debt in the same methodology as unpaid utility funds or council tax.

On the opposite hand, it in fact useful in opposition to changing the prison sanctions regime, announcing decriminalisation would possibly perhaps carry with it an increased risk of evasion.

It added that penalties brought under civil law would possibly perhaps composed be enforced the expend of the prison law as a final resort.

Profits from the licence price used to be worth £three.6bn to the BBC in the final monetary year, accounting for roughly 75% of the broadcaster’s revenues.

Throughout the election advertising and marketing campaign, High Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged he thought changing the licence price completely wants “taking a see at”.

“Or no longer it’s important to establish a quiz to yourself whether or no longer that methodology to funding a media company composed is qualified in the prolonged speed given the methodology that various organisations prepare to fund themselves,” he acknowledged.

“The system of funding out of what’s a frequent tax bears reflection”.

‘Price for money’

Mr Sunak acknowledged he would no longer “speculate” on the prolonged-term future of the licence price itself, adding that it had been “secured” thru to 2027, when the present Royal Charter governing the corporate ends.

But he added: “How other folks spend media is changing, and it’s unnecessary to negate correct we continue to see at this stuff over time.”

A BBC spokesman acknowledged the previous authorities review in fact useful the gift prison sanctions regime ought to be maintained.

“The authorities has already commissioned a QC to comprehend an in-depth see at this matter and he came upon that ‘the present system of prison deterrence and prosecution ought to be maintained’ and that it’s generous and worth for money to licence price payers,” the spokesman acknowledged.

“The review also came upon that non-price cases accounted for ‘a minute allotment’ – completely 0.three% – of court docket time.”

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