Sunday 17 February 2019

Dominic Lawson on Lord Hall's 'welching' on the deal

Dominic Lawson has a splendid piece in today's Sunday Times about the BBC's bad faith over the 2015 licence fee settlement. 

That settlement saw Lord Hall & Co. agree to fund the licence-fee concession for over-75s whilst "in return" the corporation "got stuff it wanted": the licence fee to be adjusted in line with inflation for five years; the ability to charge the full licence fee to those who watched BBC programmes on devices other than a TV set; and a reduction in the BBC’s obligation to fund rural broadband. 

But now Lord Hall has changed his mind, and "having pocketed the negotiating gains in the 2015 deal, the BBC is now proposing to welch on the big cost". 

The piece ends with Dominic speculating that "the youth-fixated denizens of New Broadcasting House who blame the oldsters for the Brexit vote" might have another reason for ending the over-75s - namely as "a form of collective punishment."


  1. Or perhaps the BBC has realised that it is only those that will become 'the over 75s' in the next ten years that are paying the licence fee?

    Certainly the 'yoof' don't pay and probably those multi-generational families from the BBC's favoured community don't either.

    1. The BBC constantly preach about humanity and liberal values but happily ignore these when it comes to harvesting their income to fund the constant propaganda and obscene salaries.

      As you say, they despise the majority who stump up the licence fee and suffer in silence whilst being force fed the liberal left PC doctrine on just about everything they broadcast.

  2. The BBC has sucked in the propaganda from the Resolution Foundation's vicar-like figure (who hates the old - and who, along with the Lib Dems, deploys an ugly phrase to cover this hateful pitting of the young against the old), then fed it back to the Vicar by enshrining it in the terms of commissioned research to be carried out by the Vicar's foundation into the ways of making the hated oldies pay. The Vicar will feed back to the BBC what it can do to make the oldy freeloaders pay.

  3. Firstly, the BBC is very clever to always focus on the cost of the license fee to the individual household. As the number of households in UK is continually increasing, it gets a hidden increase in income on top of inflation. A Government that was really interested in being on the side of the people (populist I suppose) would at the very least insist that the annual inflation increase was adjusted for BBC's total income.

    That technicality aside, I was unsurprised to hear Montague on TWAO last week frame the choice as a binary one: charge the over-75's or cut services. In the pampered, over-paid, over-staffed land of the BBC, there are no other options - such as increased productivity, better efficiency or plain cost-cutting ("doing more with less" as we are always asked in the non-licence fee world).

    Nevertheless, cutting services would be my choice. There are too many radio and TV channels, too many staff, too big a website, etc.. A smaller BBC would allow space for others that is currently denied.


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