TV licensing consists of:
- collecting payment in a variety of expensive to manage ways;
- printing off and posting out a TV license to each household, each year;
- working out which houses have not paid;
- checking and enforcing payment using letters and visits;
- taking people to court with all the costs that this incurs; and
- paying for the profits of the private company contracted to do the above
This proposal would remove:
- a separate collection system – cheaper to run
- a separate collection system – one more chore for each householder to remember to pay
- printing of a TV licence is not required – it all on a database anyway so money to be saved here.
- the need to work out who has not paid is already in place for council tax
- the costly need to check if a household needs to pay handled by local councils who already have systems in place
- the cost of taking people to court is removed as local councils also have this mechanism in place; and
- the loss of a large chunk of our TV license fee in administering the current system.
By making all households pay regardless of TV use, this would reduce the cost of running the present system and solve the problem of households watching programmes via the Internet and listening to BBC radio without paying. Yes there will be some loosers but that is the price for a simplified (cheaper to run) taxation system and most of us should be winners as the reduced cost of running this system will allow for a reduction in overall taxation,
People living in mobile accommodation – travellers for instance – could pay for their TV licence with an alteration to the council tax legislation forcing payment based on time spent in each local council area. A similar method could be devised for the over 70s “free licence” if required,
So, in conclusion, a method for reducing the cost of collecting the TV licence by amalgamating the cost within a body that already does a similar job.