Tories force £100 million payout so outsourcing giant can chase over-75s for TV licence fee

The Conservative government’s relationship with private outsourcing firms is becoming more questionable by the day.

It has been revealed that the BBC is having to pay nearly £100 million to Capita so the firm can hire new staff to chase down senior citizens who fail to pay the TV licence fee.

People aged over 75 had been exempt from paying the fee because the government subsidised it – until George Osborne decided that he was going to axe the subsidy for no apparent reason other than cruelty.

The BBC was then forced between betraying all licence fee-payers by cutting its output significantly, or betraying over-75s by demanding that they pay the fee again.

It wasn’t any choice at all.

At least we’re all laying the blame where it’s due. As the Mirror article states:

Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams said: “The BBC has taken this decision but in reality the principal responsibility lies with the Government.

“Until a previous administration transferred these free licences to the Corporation under a tapering funding arrangement they had taken the form of a welfare benefit for a generation, and to have done that without any consultation left a really bad taste in the mouth.

“The Government cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the upset and distress being caused to many of our over-75s today, the poorest and most isolated above all – and the sadness is that these older people have already endured so much over the last few months.

“The Government needs to sit down with the BBC urgently to keep these TV licences for over-75s free.”

Ms Abrahams’ suggestion is right – but we know the Tories won’t act on it.

They’ll say the Covid crisis, Brexit, and the collapse of the UK’s economy (all their own fault) mean the nation cannot afford to take back the TV licence subsidy.

In reality, though, the real reason is that they’ve given all the money to privatised outsourcing firms like Capita.

Source: BBC to spend ‘£100m of taxpayer cash chasing over-75s not paying licence fee’ – Mirror Online

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4 Thoughts to “Tories force £100 million payout so outsourcing giant can chase over-75s for TV licence fee”

  1. SteveH

    This is going to lead to some very disturbing footage on YouTube.

    The Tories are going to find it much harder to just ignore the videos portraying the distressing plight of very vulnerable oldies in their 90s being harassed.

  2. Gerry Conroy

    Mike, how much would it cost for the BBC to leave the over 75 group with the free licence ? surely 100 million to chase up this shortfall is ridiculous!!

    1. Mike Sivier

      They’re chasing around £571,650,000 so I would tend to agree. They’re spending one-sixth of the money they would hope to gain.

  3. The Toffee (597)

    Another example of waste at the bbc. Sack your licence fee and spend it on feed for the ducks – much more entertaining.

    The bbc’s profligacy and largesse know NO bounds. Thousands of ‘directors’ on seven figure salaries and all’s they do is the equivalent of counting the moon for Chrissakes. They already waste £millions sending out threatograms knowing full well that at least 80% of the people they’re sending them to are legally licence free.

    Still, I guess it keeps a few posties in work, eh?

    But they’ll still send their goons around to lie & cheat & extort from you.

    You only need type in ‘Tv licencing goon’ on Youtube to see what they (The bbc and crapita) are all about.

    And I’m sick to death of hearing about the gender pay gap. About how some female talent-bereft presenter/reporter is ONLY on 150k a year. How sad. There’s people sweeping the bloody streets on NMW could do a far better job than them.

    And don’t get me started on their alleged ‘impartiality’…

    The sooner the licence tax is scrapped the better. See how they get on on a subscription only basis. I’d give them 18 months tops before people got rightly p****ed off with repeats of dad’s army every bleedin’ day – day after day.

    Rant over.

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