The BBC will go ahead with its plans to scrap the free licence fee for the majority of over-75s to save money, while pledging to spend £100 million on “diverse” content to appease the Marxist Black Lives Matter movement.
The move had been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the broadcaster announced on Thursday that from August 1st, three million more households would be expected to pay the £157.50 annual fee. Britain’s poorest seniors will still be able to apply for an exemption to the licence.
Labour MPs were quick to blame the government for failing to step in and cover the cost, despite the BBC accepting the responsibility in its 2015 charter.
Conservative Culture Minister Matt Warman said that the “BBC has had a generous licence fee settlement and it is deeply disappointing that they have chosen to go down the path that they apparently are going down”.
While Conservative Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said, referring to the BBC by its nickname ‘Auntie’: “Auntie, come on, let’s be nice to the over 75-year-olds as they’re some of your most loyal viewers and listeners.
“It’d be right to allow them to continue to watch television for free.”
The Taxpayers’ Alliance, a pressure group that campaigns for lowering the burden on taxpayers, said on Thursday: “This announcement shows the Beeb would rather fleece pensioners than cut its wasteful diversity budgets and top star salaries.
“The TV tax is a terrible burden which will now be slammed onto the over 75s, and is a kick in the teeth at such a difficult time for older people.
“Rather than forcing pensioners to pay the hated telly tax, the BBC should acknowledge the current funding model isn’t fit for purpose and step into the 21st century by abolishing the licence fee altogether.”
Farage Slams BBC, Sky for Portraying UK as ‘Cesspit of Bigots and Racists’ https://t.co/4MhVx9dY8X
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 18, 2020
BBC Chairman Sir David Clementi has said that he decided to go ahead with the charges because the broadcaster is “under severe financial pressure”. In the past two weeks, the BBC announced that it would be making redundant 450 staff across its BBC News England division and 150 employees in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland programming.
Before laying off hundreds of people and introducing licence fees to millions of pensioners, the liberal broadcaster also announced that it would be spending £100 million to produce more “diverse and inclusive content”. According to a Creative Diversity Network (CDN) report from February, the BBC already provides a comparatively higher representation of ethnic minorities than other British networks, with sexual minorities, ethnic minorities, and women being overrepresented compared to proportions in the general population by the British media in general.
The move comes as the BBC is facing increasing criticism over its coverage of the Marxist agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement. After referring to violent BLMUK protests that resulted in the injury of 27 London officers one weekend in early June as “largely peaceful”, there has been a rise in support for “defunding” the BBC — a play on BLM’s call to “defund the police”.
In recent weeks, the taxpayer-funded broadcaster has promoted articles that claim the countryside is racist. It had also shared a now-deleted tweet promoting a podcast presenter asking how “white women” can try to be less like “Karens”, which Conservative MP Ben Bradley criticised as “racist”, prompting him to cancel his TV licence.
Delingpole: Not Terrorism – Just a Randomly Exploding Bus, Claims BBC https://t.co/UDdhhNeWmP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 8, 2020
A licence fee is required in the UK if you watch any live television or stream a live broadcast, even if you do not consume any BBC media. Non-payment of the licence fee can result in a £1,000 fine, a court appearance, and even imprisonment.
The BBC claims that it would not utilise the same tactics to enforce licence fee payment, but MPs expressed concern last year at the prospect of ‘outreach officers’ turning up at elderly peoples’ homes telling them they must pay to watch television.
If the BBC is successful in forcing some three million elderly Britons to pay the fee, that will increase revenue by £472.5 million — more than enough to cover the cost of the liberal broadcaster’s endeavour to provide more “diverse and inclusive” content.