BBC blows £7m on threatening letters during Covid pandemic

The BBC blew £7 million of licence fee payers’ money on 26 million threatening letters to members of the public last year, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

TV Licensing sent 26,499,693 letters to ‘unlicensed properties’ between March and December last year as Brits faced the pressure of lockdown in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, MailOnline reports.

The Defund the BBC campaign accused the broadcaster of scaremongering on multiple fronts, tweetings: “Whilst the BBC has been busy pushing fear of COVID, they’ve also sent 26 million letters designed to scare and confuse you into continuing to fund their gravy train.”

The campain also blasted the profligacy of the Beeb and the environmental impact of its enforcement policy: “How many trees is that? Greta wouldn’t be happy.”

Conservative MP Peter Bone said: “The BBC are just not in the same world as everyone else. 

“They live in their own elite bubble. The last people they care about is the licence fee payer. They’re quite happy to pay fortunes to celebrities but they don’t seem to care tuppence about people, many of whom are struggling during this Covid crisis.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign also berated the Beeb for the timing of the letters and questioned how appropriate it was for a national broadcaster to be hounding “hard-pressed households”for an “ever more expensive TV tax”, calling the funding model “outdated” and calling for it to be scrapped.

The corporation has been under heavy fire for attempting to force payment of the TV licence on over-75s who until August last year had been exempt from paying the fee.

The Mail had previously reported that by November last year, over half a million letters had been sent to pensioners demanding payment of the telly tax, to some individuals who who suffering severe mental and physical illness including blindness, dementia and stroke victims.

Former England cricketer Lord Botham pledged his assistance to any senior citizen being hounded by the BBC’s debt collectors after receiving hundreds of emails noting horrific accounts of harassment by TV Licensing.

Recent polling by Redfield and Wilton revealed the public mood on the sustainability of the licence fee model, with 56% of those polled in favour of scrapping the licence fee – just 19% were opposed.