For immediate release
Campaigners from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) have descended on BBC Broadcasting House to slam bosses for plans to prosecute almost three quarters of a million people for non-payment of the licence fee.
BBC bosses yesterday confirmed TPA estimates that annual prosecutions are set to double, which could take the number of people prosecuted for TV licence evasion to 742,518 by 2027, when the government promises to tackle the hated TV tax.
The average over the last 5 years (2016-2021) has been 123,753 prosecutions per year, meaning that over the next 6 years up to the end of 2027, the total number of prosecutions could be 742,518.
Yesterday, the corporation's chief operating officer, Leigh Tavaziva, told MP Richard Holden that BBC chiefs expect to see prosecutions return to pre-pandemic levels, but there was “strong support for paying the licence fee.”
Campaigners are calling on culture secretary Nadine Dorries to act sooner than 2027 and act now to legislate to scrap the hated TV tax.
Speaking outside BBC Broadcasting House, Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
“BBC bosses have confirmed that hundreds of thousands more could face charges because of the hated TV tax.
“Taxpayers are sick of being expected to pay an outdated TV licence fee which is simply not fit for the 21st century, on pain of imprisonment.
“Ministers must act now to axe the TV tax and spare many from the pain of pointless prosecutions.”
TPA spokespeople are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Notes to editors:
Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at www.taxpayersalliance.com.
TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.
A clip of the exchange between Leigh Tavaziva and Richard Holden MP can be found here.
The TaxPayers' Alliance launched the Axe the Tax campaign in January 2020, calling for an end to the television licence fee.
- The TaxPayers’ Alliance proposed the sale of the BBC and Channel 4 to help them compete with streaming giants.