Over-75s ‘plan to clog up BBC fee-paying system’ as part of a ‘civil disobedience’ protest

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Pensioners who will no longer be entitled to a free TV licence are being urged to apply for one anyway in a bid to


Pensioners who will no longer be entitled to a free TV licence are being urged to apply for one anyway in a bid to ‘gum up the system’. 

Last June, the corporation controversially announced it was scrapping free TV licences for over-75s who do not receive Pension Credit.

Silver Voices group – a membership group for senior citizens boasting 1,500 members – said the cost incurred by their ‘gum up the works’ campaign will urge the BBC to make a new deal with Boris Johnson’s government.

Pensioners who will no longer be entitled to a free TV licence are being urged to apply for one anyway in a bid to ‘gum up the system’ (stock image)

The group told The Mirror: ‘We are suggesting a “gum up the works” campaign of civil disobedience which stays lawful, but makes sure that the cost of enforcing licence fee payment by the over-75s is far greater than the income received.’

From June, free TV licences will only be given to over-75s who receive pension credit after the BBC said it could not afford to take on the financial burden from the Government.

The BBC said it could not afford to cover free licences for 3.7million over-75s following the government’s decision to stop funding them and shift the responsibility to the corporation.

It was today announced that the cost of the annual television licence fee will increase by £3, from £154.50 to £157.50

It was today announced that the cost of the annual television licence fee will increase by £3, from £154.50 to £157.50

It was today announced that the cost of the annual television licence fee will increase by £3, from £154.50 to £157.50.

The price hike – set by the Government – will come into effect on April 1. 

In 2016, it was announced that the cost of the TV licence – which accounts for around 75 per cent of the BBC’s revenue – would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017.

This 1.94 per cent increase is above the current inflation rate of 1.4 per cent. 

The cost of an annual black and white licence will also rise from £52.00 to £53.00. 

BBC's Director General Tony Hall is pictured last month after announcing that he would step down from his position in the summer

BBC’s Director General Tony Hall is pictured last month after announcing that he would step down from his position in the summer

In December, Boris Johnson said he was looking at whether it made long-term sense to impose the annual levy at all. 

The latest increases come after the BBC announced a cull of 450 jobs in the corporation’s news department as part of an £80million savings programme. 

Newsnight, BBC2’s flagship current affairs show, is among the programmes bearing the brunt of the cuts, along with popular radio station Radio 5 Live.

As a result, the BBC, which has about 6,000 news staff, will cover fewer stories and plough more money into its online output.  

In 2016, the BBC revealed it needed to save £800million a year from its annual licence fee revenue of £3.7billion.

However, even after the cuts, the budget for BBC News programming will still be around £480million per year. 

Last week, Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker said that buying a TV licence should not be compulsory.

In 2016, it was announced that the cost of the TV licence - which accounts for around 75 per cent of the BBC's revenue - would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017 (stock image)

In 2016, it was announced that the cost of the TV licence – which accounts for around 75 per cent of the BBC’s revenue – would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017 (stock image)

Last week, Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker said that buying a TV licence should not be compulsory

Last week, Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker said that buying a TV licence should not be compulsory 

Speaking on the campaign trail in December - ahead of the general election - Mr Johnson said the enforcement regime was ‘heavy-handed’. Pictured: Johnson speaking today

Speaking on the campaign trail in December – ahead of the general election – Mr Johnson said the enforcement regime was ‘heavy-handed’. Pictured: Johnson speaking today

He said that if you made purchasing the licence optional, ‘you would lose some people, but at the same time you’d up the price a bit’.

Viewers quickly took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the price increase. 

Elisa Pendered wrote: ‘Why are we still paying this?! I’ve watched BBC maybe twice this year. I don’t understand why it’s mandatory. Can anyone explain what we get for our money please? 

In support of the increase, Jon Mundy said: ‘Or maybe you could shut up, pay the license fee and be grateful that we have an institution as impressive as the BBC?’ 

Speaking on the campaign trail in December – ahead of the general election – Mr Johnson said the enforcement regime was ‘heavy-handed’.

Sources said Mr Cummings was also examining whether the licence fee should be scrapped entirely. 

iewers quickly took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the price increase

iewers quickly took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the price increase

This would force the BBC to take advertising or switch to a subscription model like Netflix. 

The Prime Minister made the unscheduled announcement during a visit to a haulage firm in Washington, Tyne and Wear, deep in Labour’s heartlands.

Asked by a worker whether he would axe the BBC levy, he replied: ‘How long can you justify a system whereby everybody who has a TV has to pay to fund a particular set of TV and radio channels? That is the question.’



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