Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Auto license, motorcycle license, television license

When the BBC was established in 1922, radio was a novelty and television was an experiment on engineers' workbenches. After World War II, television became a reality and the BBC expanded to the new medium. All the while, it's primary source of funding has
been a yearly fee for radio and television licenses. Currently, a household pays about US$175 per year for a television license. Most countries outside of the Americas require licenses for televisions and/or radios.

The question being asked in Britain is whether or not non-payment of the license fee should be a criminal or a civil offense. The fate of BBC financing is in the background. [This report does NOT come from the BBC.]

Licence fee prosecutions overburden courts, argues Michael Gove
Michael Gove, the justice secretary, has raised concern that prosecutions for non-payment of the BBC licence are overburdening the courts.

He has discussed the issue with John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, who is considering whether evasion of the licence fee should be decriminalized…

Gove has now made his case… about how decriminalisation could ease the caseload of magistrates courts. TV licence prosecutions account for 180,000 out of 1.5m magistrate cases each year.

A BBC spokesman said: “The government’s own evidence-based review found that licence fee evasion should not be decriminalised and that the current system is broadly fair, proportionate and provides good value for both licence fee payers and taxpayers.”

[Decriminalisation is the abolition of criminal penalties in relation to certain acts, though regulated permits or fines might still apply. -Wikipedia]

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At 8:57 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

More BBC licence fee cuts could cost 32,000 jobs, warns Tony Hall

"The BBC director general, Tony Hall, has warned that further cuts to the corporation’s funding and remit could result in more than 30,000 job losses across the TV industry... "


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