I would like to propose that the law be amended so that the licence is payable by all and is collected by local councils (as happens with Police & Fire services. This would remove an extra tier of tax collectors working for TV licensing whilst not increasing the staff or workload of local councils. 

This proposal keeps away from the debate on how to pay for the quality services of TV, radio and Internet that are provided through the current TV licence by the BBC. S4C, and others and is restricted to the collection mechanism.

Why is this idea important?

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.

6 Replies to “Collect TV licence with council tax to reduce collection costs”

  1. Totally agree with this. BBC provides radio and a comprehensive website as well as other resources which are ‘free’ to the uk/world – everyone should share the cost. The license fee must be an expensive scheme to run!

  2. What an absolute joke. The whole licence system needs to be abolished and the bbc shut down. This organisation has being driving fear and menance into the population since it began. Harbouring paedophiles for over thirty years……paying ridiculous sums of money to employees for their silence. The list goes on…….the imprisonment of young single mothers who cannot afford the licence free….frightening their children by taking their children away. Threatening the whole nation with criminal status if they dont pay……using thuggery and menance and lies to extort money on the doorstep. This isnt even the tip of the iceberg……nazi germany wasnt as communistic as how the bbc behave…….being puppeteered by the government. Shut down the bbc and give the people back their freedom of choice.

  3. So you propose that everyone pays regardless of TV use? Why should I have to pay for a television licence when I don’t have a TV?

    Presumably everyone should pay road tax regardless of car use, income tax regardless of salary, and corporate gains tax regardless of company directorship.

    I’m tired of cretins assuming that everyone wants to spend time watching ex-celebrities ballroom dancing.

    And by the way, I think you mean losers, not ‘loosers’. Perhaps your licence fee would be better spent on basic education.

  4. I think this is too simplistic. All those currently entitled to Council Tax Reduction, where the Local Authority are not therefore pursuing payments, would need to pay their TV license, so the cost of recovery would be moved to the local authority rather than the BBC. . Also it would be collected on a monthly not annual basis.
    And those over 75 would have to make an application to the local authority instead.
    And what about students who don’t pay Council Tax either, whether in halls of residence or private rented.
    Too many exceptions to the rules to make this work.

  5. Why can’t we just scrap the BBC altogether?
    This is their answer to so many legally abstaining from paying the licence.
    From north of the border we have been subjected to inferior and extremely biased broadcasting, it has become a joke here, the licence is definately not fit for purpose!
    After all these years it’s time the BBC stood on its own not subsidised by tax payers

  6. How about those that want the BBC pay for it themselves via voluntary subscription, that would refuse collection costs to

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