BBC Licence Fee

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El Pollo Diablo
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BBC Licence Fee

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Jul 19, 2022 8:27 am

Apparently council tax could replace the licence fee (again, 2022 version). Seeing as the licence fee isn't too far from a poll tax, this doesn't seem an unreasonable suggestion to me.
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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by tom p » Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:01 am

Hmmm. The good thing about the current hypothecated model with a 10-ish year price agreed is that it gives them a few years of independence & a guaranteed income so they can properly plan. That's why they have been able to deliver the iPlayer, BBC sounds & additional TV channels (BBCs 3 & 4, CBBC & CBeebies) over the last 20 years while experiencing a real-world cut in their funding.
linking it to council tax would remove that certainty & prevent this planning & thus successful delivery

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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by Martin_B » Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:38 am

tom p wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 9:01 am
Hmmm. The good thing about the current hypothecated model with a 10-ish year price agreed is that it gives them a few years of independence & a guaranteed income so they can properly plan. That's why they have been able to deliver the iPlayer, BBC sounds & additional TV channels (BBCs 3 & 4, CBBC & CBeebies) over the last 20 years while experiencing a real-world cut in their funding.
linking it to council tax would remove that certainty & prevent this planning & thus successful delivery
You seem to be beginning to grasp the Tory party playbook!
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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by IvanV » Tue Jul 19, 2022 11:36 am

This essentially moves the funding of the BBC into general taxation, which would make sense. It makes it more clear that the BBC is a government-owned broadcaster funded by its owner, rather than the myth of the customer-funded broadcaster.

We have relatively low property tax in Britain for a developed economy. It used to be much higher until the Rates were abolished. Most tax specialists think our property tax should increase. So that's a good thing to increase it a bit.

How progressive or regressive the change is depends quite how you distribute it over council tax. Same amount per household would be regressive. Band G pays 5 times more than Band A,that would be more progressive. The old Rates were more progressive than the present Council Tax, unfortunately. Under the reform to council tax, the variation was reduced, and then capped so that the super-rich pay the same as the merely comfortable. So still the problem that it falls a long way short of taking from the rich the amounts of money that they could afford to contribute.

How firm does it make the funding of the BBC? Well you can decide it any way you want. You can give them a 10 year deal and then set the council tax rates accordingly. Or beat them up year to year. So that remains an open question.

Council tax has less evasion than the licence fee, so less loss to bad debt. But unfortunately that currently comes at the cost of draconian enforcement methods for council tax. Miss an installment, and your privilege of paying in installments is lost. So if, due to short term issues, you can't afford this month's installment, they come at you for the whole year's worth. And the law is written in such a way that they tend to use bailiffs, which is a costly way of enforcing debts. Citizens Advice have some good reports on this.
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So several features there that I approve of. Some small movements in the right direction, depending upon how they precisely implement. But still failing to make large movements in the right direction. And potentially makes worse the Council Tax enforcement issues.

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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Jul 19, 2022 12:35 pm

One of the plus sides of doing it this way would be that it would irritate the sh.t out of every telegraph reader in the country who listens to Radio 4 but believes the BBC is a socialist pit of vipers that needs scrapping.

Yes, it might change the politics of the situation with the BBC, but then, that's already happening anyway.
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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by sTeamTraen » Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:29 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 11:36 am
This essentially moves the funding of the BBC into general taxation, which would make sense. It makes it more clear that the BBC is a government-owned broadcaster funded by its owner, rather than the myth of the customer-funded broadcaster.
This. Much as I would like to say "It's the evil Tories" (which is probably part of the equation), the licence fee would have been doomed because of the different ways that people consume media now.

What will be interesting is if at some point there is a database of people who have paid their "subscription". Currently when I fire up my "pretend I am in the UK" tech and connect to iPlayer, it invites me to confirm that I have a TV licence, at which point I tell a little fib. But perhaps one of the benefits of the UK having no decent secure digital ID is that they won't be able to enforce that.
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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jul 19, 2022 6:33 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:29 pm
IvanV wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 11:36 am
This essentially moves the funding of the BBC into general taxation, which would make sense. It makes it more clear that the BBC is a government-owned broadcaster funded by its owner, rather than the myth of the customer-funded broadcaster.
This. Much as I would like to say "It's the evil Tories" (which is probably part of the equation), the licence fee would have been doomed because of the different ways that people consume media now.

What will be interesting is if at some point there is a database of people who have paid their "subscription". Currently when I fire up my "pretend I am in the UK" tech and connect to iPlayer, it invites me to confirm that I have a TV licence, at which point I tell a little fib. But perhaps one of the benefits of the UK having no decent secure digital ID is that they won't be able to enforce that.
Would it need to be a government-issued ID? Loads of online streaming services are password-protected and subscription-only - there must be a wide gamut of ways to implement it.

Load of faff, though. Just fund it out of tax as a public good (and Global Britain soft power thingy).
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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by sTeamTraen » Tue Jul 19, 2022 8:09 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 6:33 pm
sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:29 pm
What will be interesting is if at some point there is a database of people who have paid their "subscription". Currently when I fire up my "pretend I am in the UK" tech and connect to iPlayer, it invites me to confirm that I have a TV licence, at which point I tell a little fib. But perhaps one of the benefits of the UK having no decent secure digital ID is that they won't be able to enforce that.
Would it need to be a government-issued ID? Loads of online streaming services are password-protected and subscription-only - there must be a wide gamut of ways to implement it.
It's quite an interesting technical challenge to demonstrate that the person currently sitting in front of iPlayer trying to watch a show is a member of a household that has paid its council tax (or whatever). Netflix tolerates that by (a) writing off a certain amount of account sharing and (b) limiting the number of devices you can watch at once, but the BBC has other mandates. I don't think it will happen, but maybe they will add some hoops. Currently it's really not hard to defeat the geolocation stuff.
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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by IvanV » Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:00 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 8:09 pm
It's quite an interesting technical challenge to demonstrate that the person currently sitting in front of iPlayer trying to watch a show is a member of a household that has paid its council tax (or whatever).
I would have thought that if you fund the BBC through compulsory taxation, even local taxation, you don't bother doing that. It has been paid for through public funding, and so is openly available to the entire resident population of the country. An interesting issue might be tellies in non-residential settings, or commercial settings that are quasi-residential like care homes, hospitals and hotels. Would commercial premises still have to buy a licence? Or pay a supplement on the business rate, telly or no telly?

The reason the BBC tries to stop people outside GB watching i-Player is that it sells its output for money to overseas broadcasters, and also to overseas audiences direct through BritBox. It doesn't want to undermine those income sources.

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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by shpalman » Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:04 pm

IvanV wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:00 pm
sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Jul 19, 2022 8:09 pm
It's quite an interesting technical challenge to demonstrate that the person currently sitting in front of iPlayer trying to watch a show is a member of a household that has paid its council tax (or whatever).
I would have thought that if you fund the BBC through compulsory taxation, even local taxation, you don't bother doing that. It has been paid for through public funding, and so is openly available to the entire resident population of the country. An interesting issue might be tellies in non-residential settings, or commercial settings that are quasi-residential like care homes, hospitals and hotels. Would commercial premises still have to buy a licence? Or pay a supplement on the business rate, telly or no telly?

The reason the BBC tries to stop people outside GB watching i-Player is that it sells its output for money to overseas broadcasters, and also to overseas audiences direct through BritBox. It doesn't want to undermine those income sources.
In some cases it only bought the rights to use certain content (e.g. backing music) within the UK rather than the whole world.
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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by IvanV » Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:25 pm

shpalman wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:04 pm
IvanV wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:00 pm
The reason the BBC tries to stop people outside GB watching i-Player is that it sells its output for money to overseas broadcasters, and also to overseas audiences direct through BritBox. It doesn't want to undermine those income sources.
In some cases it only bought the rights to use certain content (e.g. backing music) within the UK rather than the whole world.
Good point. Sport would also be a big issue there. And there may also be deals on royalties to the actors/writers/production companies which distinguish UK and other markets. So it is contractually obliged for numerous reasons to control overseas access.

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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by tom p » Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:37 pm

IvanV wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:25 pm
shpalman wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:04 pm
IvanV wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:00 pm
The reason the BBC tries to stop people outside GB watching i-Player is that it sells its output for money to overseas broadcasters, and also to overseas audiences direct through BritBox. It doesn't want to undermine those income sources.
In some cases it only bought the rights to use certain content (e.g. backing music) within the UK rather than the whole world.
Good point. Sport would also be a big issue there. And there may also be deals on royalties to the actors/writers/production companies which distinguish UK and other markets. So it is contractually obliged for numerous reasons to control overseas access.
Sport is very much an issue here. Gotta use a VPN to listen to cricket through BBC sounds.
All music radio is fine to be listened to anywhere in the world though

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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by sTeamTraen » Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:48 pm

tom p wrote:
Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:37 pm
Sport is very much an issue here. Gotta use a VPN to listen to cricket through BBC sounds.
All music radio is fine to be listened to anywhere in the world though
If you ever want a solution for UK TV that is cheaper, faster, and more reliable than a VPN (but still legal - no server farms getting rolled up by Europol every feew months), let me know.
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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by tom p » Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:56 am

sTeamTraen wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:48 pm
tom p wrote:
Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:37 pm
Sport is very much an issue here. Gotta use a VPN to listen to cricket through BBC sounds.
All music radio is fine to be listened to anywhere in the world though
If you ever want a solution for UK TV that is cheaper, faster, and more reliable than a VPN (but still legal - no server farms getting rolled up by Europol every feew months), let me know.
I do rather, ta for the offer. BBC sport recently got tight on listening to TMS. I mean, there's still the TMS overseas link, but unless I'm at a desktop, then I have to have my phone properly on for youtube

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Re: BBC Licence Fee

Post by Brightonian » Wed Aug 03, 2022 7:16 am

sTeamTraen wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:48 pm
tom p wrote:
Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:37 pm
Sport is very much an issue here. Gotta use a VPN to listen to cricket through BBC sounds.
All music radio is fine to be listened to anywhere in the world though
If you ever want a solution for UK TV that is cheaper, faster, and more reliable than a VPN (but still legal - no server farms getting rolled up by Europol every feew months), let me know.
Me too...

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