BBC delays legal action as 1.3 million over 75s refuse to pay license fees | UK | News

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A senior BBC executive told lobby group Silver Voices, which represents older citizens, that the company is not sending execution letters to non-payers at this time. The move follows the campaign’s call for supporters to withhold the costs in protesting the removal of free television licenses for all people over 75. In an email to Silver Voices, BBC Policy Director Claire Sumner wrote: regarding over 75 licenses at present, and no enforcement letter is being sent to this group. “

His post came in response to a call from Silver Voices for a six-month amnesty from prosecution for non-payment of the £ 157.50 annual fee.Silver Voices Director Dennis Reed said: “Even according to the best BBC figures, 1.26 million over 75s still refuse to pay their license fee.

“It is gratifying that the BBC has acknowledged that harassing these license denials would be a public relations disaster during lockdowns and have serious mental health consequences for some vulnerable people.

“We will continue to argue that this law enforcement amnesty is extended until the future of free licenses can be worked out between the government and the BBC in the upcoming licensing negotiations.”

But the BBC rejected Silver Voices’ suggestions that the prosecution was suspended.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We have never visited households that were previously registered as having a license over 75 years old, therefore, to suggest that we suspended something that we had never done in first, is clearly incorrect.

“There are currently no visits for more than 75 licenses and no application letter has been issued.

“We have made this process as easy and secure as possible and it is secured by Covid as no one needs to leave the house to apply for a license.”

It also emerged yesterday that Boris Johnson’s decision to decriminalize non-payment of the television license had hit a snag.

The ministers fear that this decision will lead to the harassment of elderly people by judicial officers if the BBC tries to recover the unpaid costs in the civil courts.

A Downing Street source told the Daily Express: “This issue is of concern. “

A report released yesterday said ministers would wait until a new BBC president is installed before making a final decision on whether to proceed with the decriminalization plan.

Senior Tories launched the offensive against the BBC after the triumph in the general election last year, with an MP accusing the company of bias.

Ministers condemned the BBC’s decision to limit free TV licenses to people over the age of 75 who receive the pension credit as “flawed”.

The bosses of the BBC resist the plan to decriminalize the non-payment of the license.

The new BBC Managing Director Tim Davie recently said: ‘If you are a law-abiding customer paying license fees what I’m trying to do is give you the best price-performance ratio.

“The decriminalization proposal, frankly in my mind, just does not pass the logical test.”

He added: “If you look at the civilian systems, the fines are higher, the bailiffs come to the door. “



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