Politicalite UK


BBC Spends more than £6m threatening non-licence-fee payers

THE BBC has spent more than £6million in taxpayers’ cash in the last year on ­letters threatening to fine non-licence-fee payers.

It sent almost 28.6million letters, costing 22p each, to unlicensed homes vowing £1,000 fines if the £147 charges go unpaid.

That’s 2.7million more letters than the corporation sent in 2014, despite the BBC’s pledge to minimise paper communications.

Homes get several letters before further action, yet last year only 184,595 were issued with a non-payment notice by enforcement teams.

Of those who ended in court yet failed to pay their fine, 90 were jailed according to Freedom of Information figures.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said of the Beeb’s spending blitz against non-licence-fee payers: “It’s taxpayers’ money chasing taxpayers’ money.”

Chloe Westley, of The TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: “It’s a ridiculous waste.

“The fact magistrates dismiss so many cases shows people are being taken to court without thorough checks being put in place.”

A TV Licensing spokeswoman said collection costs had fallen by 25 percent since 2010/11 to just under 3p for every £1 collected.

She added: “Letters are a cost-effective way to get people to buy a licence.”

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