Government set to maintain sanctions on non-payment of the licence fee

Published Jul 15, 2015

PRW_2015_Photo_for_electoral_address.jpgUKIP Culture Spokesman Peter Whittle: "I am disappointed to hear that the long awaited Department of Culture, Media and Sport commissioned report conducted by David Perry QC about the future of the licence fee and the penalties for non-payment is likely to recommend the continuation of the current system which disproportionately affects the poor and women.

"UKIP has for many years advocated the decriminalisation of non-payment of the licence fee and we were the first party to take that position. Further to that our Leader in the House of Lords, Lord Pearson, put forward a Bill to decriminalise non payment of the licence fee last year and we went into the General Election this year with a manifesto commitment to do the same with a view to it's reduction.

"The BBC is subsidised under the threat of jail and uses it's subsidy to crowd out, in particular, independent, local news across the country through it's vast and increasing online presence. Nobody can compete on level terms with them, given, as they boast, that 97 per cent of the population access it's services at least once a week showing that it is a monopoly.

"It is arguably not just a commercial monopoly but also an intellectual one as well with a monoglot view on issues such as immigration and Britain's relationship with the EU. With the impending EU referendum, the BBC must address its overall political bias so it does not use it's heft to unduly affect the result."

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