What does your TV license fee pay for? Apart from a private jet?

We've talked about BBC funding in passing before, as a side issue to that of technology, and how consumers might fund the TV license in the digital age. Ultimately though, it's a another tax that most of us have to pay, regardless of your views on the value for money it delivers and regardless of whether we make full or little use of the services it funds; if you own a television, you pay the fee and tough tittie if you feel otherwise.

So what exactly are you paying for? Well, there are two national analogues television services, several digital stations, nine nation radio stations, 40 local stations, local tv services and an online empire.

Oh, and a dinner for Terry Wogan costing over £1,100. And a car hire for the BBC's director of future media and technology. Over £800. For a day. And a night out in Vegas for 29 people costing nearly £1,500. And £2,236.90 to hire a Cessna jet.

Yes, you might think you're pushing it by sticking in an expense claim for a few extra miles of petrol, but it's fair to say the executive committee of the BBC are royally taking the piss with their receipts. The publicly funded corporation has released the claims of its ten executive board members going back five years after saying it planned to publish more salary and expenses details.

The Guardian is sifting through the details that have so far been released, and has also created spreadsheets so Daily Mail readers can do the same. Expect the Mail to carry at least five pages of furious, vein-bursting outrage in tomorrow's edition.

[The Guardian]


  • Tom P.
    "dinner for Terry Wogan costing over £1,100" WOW, i normally eat a Pukka Pie (reduced to 69p at Tesco), beans (29p a can) and a can of Special Brew (£1.50)...total cost £2.48.
  • Rob
    Bloody BBC world service too. How come I have to pay for that?
  • Craig
    I heard a good statment on the radio earlier, coincidentally Radio 1... that this revelation will "make the license fee payers more satisfied that they know what their money is being spent on" Yeah, great, I feel so much better that I pay all that cash for Terry Wogan to have a £1100 pig out!
  • Martin S.
    These b*stards are allowed to make a profit, sit on the profit then raise the license fee each year. Even more disgusting is charging half price to blind people so not even free.
  • fatbloke
    Re Rob: You have to pay for the bloody BBC World service because the bloody FCO thinks it is a good way of spending bloody general taxation. So even if you set fire to your bloody telly you will still be paying for it if you pay tax to HMG.
  • James R.
    I really think it's time everyone cancelled their license and just switched the TV off. You can own a TV, play games and watch DVD / VHS without the need for a TV license. You can listen to the radio and you watch BBCi Player without a TV license or any other watch again service for that matter...... ......cancel your license and switch off
  • Ian C.
    @Martin Smith - The licence fee is set by Parliament not by the BBC itself, and from memory the fee will soon have a net decrease when taking inflation into account. Still there's nothing like a good rant to ignore the facts. And I personally think the licence fee is good value just for three different series alone, especially if it means not having to fast forward through mindless ads or having various imports being cut to pieces by the commercial channels.
  • Bwah h.
    Just put some fucking adverts on the BBC so we dont have to pay a shitty licence fee. What a bunch of cunts.
  • Inactive
    I don't have a TV License, I do have a TV Licence. Anything is better than the crap that Murdoch puts out.
  • Mike
    I haven't paid my TV licence for 10 years. When the idiots come to the door just tell them to feck off. The collection of the TV licence is run bunch by a bunch of villains called capita. These enforcers have no legal right to enter your home. The only way to get caught is to admit guilt and sign the form that will go before the magistrate. The average Muppet enforcer working for capita is paid minimum wage. The get bonuses for how many people they catch. They don't want to waste time on people who know their rights. As long as you don't let them in and sign the form they cannot enforce it.
  • Mike
    +1 for not paying a TV license.
  • Mike
    Now your BBC Licence fee goes to pay for broadband in Scotland, ITV and stopping illegal filesharing.
  • SeaNanners
    Hello everyone my name is SeaNanners
  • conveyancing
    Sorry, but I don't agree with you here. I don't like that approach. But it's a good start off. Perhaps with some increased information I could manage to understand it better?
  • sol
    If all you have to pay for in the TV license is the BBC n all their crap then why do i have to pay for a tv license if i dont use their stations at all. Can i charge them for their signals passing through my house without my consent. If i dont want their tv signals to come into my house can we ask the BBC to pay for protective materials to ensure that their tv n radio waves dont pass through my house. And why if you have sky tv for example do i have to pay for a tv license. I only watch sky channels none of the BBC crap? Can anyone tell me how to tell the BBC and Brit Government to stuff their TV license up their behinds!!!!
  • Micky
    I have a tv. I have sky. I pay sky for channels I want to watch. I don't want to watch BBC shit so I don't. And there for I choose not to pay tv license. Also, why do blind people have to pay a tv license fee when someone who just listens to the channels can listen to them freely without a tv license. And another thing why is it only England who has the license. You don't see America having tv license fee which also has sky. Make BBC ppv and see how much they get then. Ummm would I need a license to use BBC website. I also watch sky sports on phone. Would I by right need license for that.
  • Adam
    @ Micky. The UK isn't the only country that has a TV license system, Germany does, as does Switzerland and quite a few others.
  • Big A.
    People like Noel Edmonds and other well known celebrities do not pay for tv licence as far as I know, lets all stick together and not pay it at all we need to fight this for the pensioners and disabled and others. Its so unfair on them especially. Come on Britain let the MPs know what you think about the BBC fees by this outdated system . The government can change this if we lobby them.
  • Britishbull10376
    You need 100000 names on a petition to take it to parliament and a spokesperson too otherwise they won't listen . There's that many fatcars there they won't agree to it anyway who would pay for there extortionate wage package for sitting on there arse and chatting shit with the occasional song on which nobodies heard of ( radio 1 ) . I rang up tv licensing up I live in a shared accommodation with shared bathroom but no communism area apart from a small kitchen and because the contract isn't joint for a small room enough for a double bed a small table and a wardrobe I still have to pay £145 a year so potentially they are getting over a grand for one house , anybody else think that's wrong or is that just me ?
  • carl y.
    i have a question, people in the republic of ireland have been recieving the bbc for years and now with digital tv people all over the world can watch it. so how come the people of the uk are the only ones paying a licence fee to fund the station and could there be a law that gives us the right not to pay.????
  • carl y.
    i would put money on the bbc being privatised in the next few years with the introduction of digital tv.
  • mister m.
    Carl, you're "required by law" to have a TV licence in Ireland too. I'm guess that: A) The BBC signal was strong enough to reach most parts of Ireland, hence why we were able to watch it, ie. The BBC/UK government couldn't do anything about it because we were outside of their billing laws. or B) The Irish government bought the rights to air the BBC in exchange for a percentage of the TV licence. The Irish TV licence, now being changed to a broadcasting licence (which covers mobiles, laptops etc...) fund RTE TV and RTE Radio. (RTE are also funded by adverts, unlike the BBC) TV3 and Possibly Today FM (radio) are the only two that are funded through advertising alone. TV3 presenters have often aired their complaints about the TV licence saying that it's a joke and completely unfair. People are beginning to wake up however. The recession is making people angry, but more aware of the scams the government are putting into place ( anyone who has traveled on Irish roads will know what I'm talking about, road tax and pot holes).
  • Paul C.
    The BBC should use the PBS model. The way it works is that they must generate an income by public donations. The government chips in on a dollar-for-dollar basis. So if no one wants to volunteer any money at all, the government does not have to pay any taxpayers' money to it either. That sounds like a deal that would get the BBC squealing, ie make them dependent on the goodwill of the viewing and listening public. They might then actually pay some attention to what the public want, instead of giving them whatever the so-called great-and-good think is good for them. It might also reduce the subtle and clever persistent left-leaning bias that you always get from organisations funded out of the public purse. It will also mean that all those who advocate BBC licences can show their generosity in volunteering funds for this organisation they love so much. The same should have applied to the Olympics, ie all those who wanted it should have been handed the bill rather than it being spread among those who didn't want anything to do with it and were appalled by the waste and the opening ceremony extravaganza produced by a well-known avowed leftie.
  • Wizard
    When Tv was new and we only had BBC1 then a license was a reasonable way to fund our television watching. Now there are so many ways to view programs it seems unreasonable that we have to pay £145 a year for the BBC but all other Channels are paid for by adverts. I agree that BBC television is still the best in the world but why should I fund it? I wouldn't mind advertisements on BBC one bit. Instead of telling us how good they are if it was funded by advertising I bet they'd soon stop big luncheons and all the other perks. A modern day company has to stand on its own merits not on say so. I can opt out of watching Sky so why can't I do the same with the BBC? Radio! What's that? I haven't listened to a radio in years. Can I have a portion of my fee back please?
  • Reality C.
    The BBC exists not to entertain or to inform, it exists only to control, corrupt and manipulate societies group conciousness. The Licence Fee is a propaganda tax pure and simple. How do you think political correctness would have ever userped factual and moral correctness in the way it so clearly has without powerful tools such as the BBC? I could write a full-scale thesis on the topic (somebody bloody well needs to) but time and circumstance only allow this one observation... when it comes to views, as with fashions, human-beings like to stay in the herd, so all the BBC has to do to manipulate the UK's group view any given topic is to present the side of the topic they wish to promote as already being 'the mainstream view' no matter how obscure and unpopular the opinion really is and voilla - before long that view is the one taken in as being the mainstream belief by the BBC's millions of viewers who on that basis adopt the view as their own. To acomplish this the fact is a person will ever get a job on TV through the BBC (or other similar corporate holdings) if their perported views and opinions are not a sounding board for the ones the BBC's masters wish to instill in the wider public, or unless they are the sort of sneaky paedophilic character who instinctively understands this dictum and who in exchange for a successful career opportunity will operate by saying and thinking exactly what they know their BBC employers want then to say and think. This is why EVERYONE on T.V. seemingly have the same narrow spectrum of 'allowed' views. It is also why paedophiles and other scum do so well out of our licence fee money. Don't pay the licence fee, doing so is as immoral as supporting paedophilia.
  • Tony R.
    No one is asking exactly what are we paying the fee for. Not to watch thats free you can watch sky itv they don't receive payment from us we use the same receiver for all channels. So what are we paying for? Truth is in my opinion we are paying a tax to people who spend our money on expensive toys, food, wine and houses, so they can lead rich lives. Itv get their money through advertising. Good honest HARD WORKING companies that work to bring in revenue which they spend on making tv for the British people then maybe sell to other counties. The BBC take our HARD WORKING money and pay executives all over the world to order repeat programming to us and also to sell to other counties. They advertise in other countries on BBC world services so why can't they advertise in this country. (REAL COMPETITION IN TV PROGRAMMING). It isn't right or fair to allow one company to monopolize a media for little or no effort. People from around the world can watch these BBC channels and radio stations for FREE. They aren't being told it is illegal to watch a box with wires in that show programmes from tv companies, so why is it illegal to watch my tv without paying a public company money. A bunch of faces (politicians) who incidentally are being paid through our taxes claims it to be lawful to allow free citizens to be forced at virtual gunpoint pay a fee for watching what is or should be free. If not you are forced to pay even more money if "caught". Yet the BBC spends millions and millions on new buildings New headquarters, all from our taxed HARD WORKING wages. Like I've said independent tv companies do likewise but they do it on the spoils of their HARD WORKING and not bleeding us. And while on the subject why is sky allowed to get revenue by subscription and advertising? Just doesn't seem fair or right. So I'm asking what are we paying the licence fee for?

What do you think?

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