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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones BS: Disgraceful BBC (63* d) RE: BS: Disgraceful BBC 18 Jun 19

I see it as thee start of a political battle between the BBC and the government. The BBC had their arm twisted during the last funding negotiations and agreed to take on responsibility for the licence fee rebate. That was probably a mistake in retrospect, but was perhaps necessary at the time in order to get the settlement they wanted.

There is a strong argument that the licence fee should go to funding BBC programmes, not providing social security benefits which is the government's function. By withdrawing the benefit from so many people the BBC has highlighted this. It has not gone unnoticed that the government is trying to escape the blame for this, and I don't think many people are fooled. I won't be surprised if the government has to step in at some point to at least partially fund a rebate for pensioners.

Whether the licence fee itself is the most appropriate way to fund the BBC in the modern world is a different question, as is the issue of whether pensioners should automatically be excused. Many pensioners can easily afford it, while many others cannot. If the licence fee is to remain, perhaps any rebates should be means-tested.

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