ALMOST two thirds of Brits say the TV Licence fee must be reformed and a third say the cash is spent “unreasonably”, devastating new polling shows.
In a major blow to BBC bosses who are fighting to protect their funding, one in six say they never watch the Beeb despite being made to pay for it, and only a quarter say they watch the BBC every day.
Last year 26 million TV licences were sold producing £3.69billion for the BBC – but 121,000 were convicted for evasion.
The polling, commissioned by campaigners “Defund the BBC” and conducted by Savanta ComRes, found that half of Brits believe you should not have to pay for the licence fee if you only watch non-BBC live television.
Ministers are currently reviewing laws that say anyone who watches or records live TV or uses iPlayer without a TV licence is guilty of a criminal offence and could face a prison sentence.
Younger adults aged 18-54 are significantly less likely than the over 55s to believe those that watch TV but never the BBC should have to pay for a Licence Fee.
And the Brexit divide in Britain continues to reflect how people view the corporation.
Those that voted in remain are significantly more likely to believe the Licence Fee should be preserved in its current form.
And following a number of rows over anti-Brexit bias and attempts to censor Last Night of the Proms, 43 per cent of those polled said they did not believe the BBC reflects “British values”.
2019 Labour voters and 2016 Remain voters are significantly more likely than their Conservative and Leave counterparts to believe that the BBC fairly reflects British values, the poll shows.
And those that live in the Capital are more likely than Brits from almost every other part of the UK to believe that the BBC fairly reflects British values.
Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,274 UK adults aged 18+ online between 16 and 19 October 2020.
“Defund the BBC” campaign chief Rebecca Ryan told HOAR: “This poll clearly demonstrates that the British public is overwhelmingly opposed to the Licence Fee in its current form.
“There are rightly serious concerns over the way that the Licence Fee is spent, particularly given the eye watering sums paid to certain BBC presenters.”
She added: “It is also extremely worrying that the BBC has alienated such huge swathes of British people who do not think it represents their values.
“Decriminalising the Licence Fee is just the first step to radical reform.
The next move is to ensure the Licence Fee only covers BBC output.”
Last night a BBC spokesman hit back: “We know from wide-ranging research that 91% of UK adults use BBC television, radio or online every week and surveys consistently show that the Licence Fee is the public’s preferred way of funding the BBC. That model is in place until at least 2027.”
GOT a story? RING HOAR on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]
Did you miss our previous article…