In December 2018 VLV invited its members to complete a questionnaire so that VLV could reflect their views in its submission to the BBC, which is deliberating whether to continue the concession of free TV licences for households which include someone aged 75 or over.
80% of those who responded to the VLV questionnaire oppose the concession continuing in its current form. VLV members overwhelmingly oppose the agreement made between the government and the BBC in 2015 whereby the BBC took on responsibility for funding free TV licences for the over 75s. They would like a reversal of this decision. They do not support the BBC being responsible for what they consider to be ‘welfare policy’ by deciding who should be taxed and who not. VLV members believe the cost of paying for the free licences for over 75s should revert to being paid by the Government.
Analysis of the questionnaire responses shows low or very low approval levels for the range of approaches which the BBC has proposed in a consultation – from fully adopting it, at consequent financial cost, to various watered-down versions with alternative age thresholds or levels of fee reduction. Having said that, there is evidence that many members want financial support to continue for the poorest elderly.
VLV recommends that the process whereby BBC funding is decided should be completely reformed with the creation of an independent body to advise the government on how much money the BBC should receive. This process should be open to Parliamentary and public scrutiny in order to improve transparency and accountability to the TV licence fee payers who fund the BBC.
You can read a full report on the survey findings in the PDF below:
Read our response to the BBC
You can read VLV’s full response to the BBC in the PDF below: