The BBC will resume writing to some of Britain’s most vulnerable pensioners, demanding payment of the hated telly tax, as the pandemic-related grace period previously given to the elderly concludes on 31 July.
Pensioners had received letters about coughing up to fund the national broadcaster last year, sparking national outrage over how they were being treated, before the BBC performed a humiliating U-turn and let Britain’s pensioners have more time to make alternative arrangements.
Some of those to receive letters were dementia patients, blind people, and stroke victims, with one 96-year-old war veteran, who survived capture by the Nazis during the Second World War, saying: “The BBC couldn’t care less what I did for my country. It just wants the money. It’s disgusting.”
This site reported in January how the BBC’s telly tax enforcement arm had been accused of running a “campaign of intimidation” by a top grassroots campaign group after it was revealed that home visits by TV Licensing enforcers had resumed despite lingering fears over coronavirus transmission.
But despite a brief period of decency from the BBC, during which menacing enforcement visits stopped, it appears that more than a quarter of a million pensioners could soon be inundated with strongly worded demands for payment from an organisation that is routinely accused of metropolitan liberal bias.
They reportedly spent £7m in 2020 chasing up payment of the telly tax from unlicensed homes, perhaps fearing a loss of revenue as more Brits turn to voluntary streaming services for entertainment instead of being browbeaten into funding the BBC.
Earlier today, we reported on how Batley & Spen by-election candidate George Galloway had blasted the broadcaster for what he saw as a skewed line of questioning – asking how his candidacy might impact Labour instead of asking about his own campaign and policy positions.
“What’s the difference between a licence fee and a tax? Do you want to have a debate about that?” asked Galloway.