BBC licence fee ‘no longer fit for purpose’ says expert
And campaigners have said the revelation is particularly galling given the corporation is poised to begin sending enforcement officers to demand pensioners pay for their television licences. Much like the old logo, the new one features three distinctive blocks containing the letters BBC.
The specially designed typeface, BBC Reith, named after BBC founder John Reith, is marginally different and the blocks are slightly further apart, but a casual observer would struggle to distinguish them.
The logo was unveiled on the website of BBC Select in February, and the BBC is understood to be planning to begin displaying it on television screens from the autumn.
Rebecca Ryan is Campaign Director of Defund the BBC, which is campaigning to decriminalise non-payment of the £159-a-year television licence.
She told Express.co.uk: “It’s really very disappointing to see that, in the same week the BBC declared it will start sending enforcement officers to the homes of Britain’s elderly, it turns out the corporation has been wasting vast amounts of tax payers’ cash on what they claim is a ‘big refresh’.
“In fact it is anything but. We can see from the new logo, which looks strikingly familiar, that this was an utterly unnecessary exercise in rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic.
“Meanwhile nans and grandads across the country are being bullied on their doorsteps.”
Ms Ryan added: “It’s exactly this kind of profligacy from the BBC, and disregard for those that are forced to fund it, that is causing licence fee payers to switch off in their droves, opting instead to watch entertainment providers such as Netflix, which do not need a TV licence. Who can blame them?”
Former Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe, a long-term critic of the corporation, added: “It shows that a State sponsored monopoly has no respect for taxpayers money.
“Surprised Tim Davie allowed this waste.
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“The BBC will not change from within.
“The Tories need to act to decriminalise the licence fee now and make it a subscription service.”
Prior to last August, television licences were free for all over-75s.
However, now only those over that age who are in receipt of Pension Credit are exempt from the payment.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the BBC agreed to a “grace period” during which the payment was not required – but this comes to an end this month.
A statement from the BBC said: “We are enormously grateful for the high level of support that over-75s customers have shown for the licence fee.
“As we have now reached a situation where over-75s households are in line with the general population, the extended transition period we put in place due to COVID-19 will end on July 31, 2021.
“And in line with general policy, anyone who watches or records live TV programmes on any channel, or downloads or watches BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer, must be covered by a valid TV licence.”
All those affected can now expect a letter explaining the changes in more detail.
Referring to Ms Ryan’s remarks, a BBC spokesman said: “The BBC hasn’t “claimed” anything. That’s the language used by others.
“As we have already said, we are simply using our own font – which we own the intellectual rights to – to tidy up the blocks when we update content or BBC products.
“It would be wrong to suggest that the costs of the design of the blocks was significant.”
Author: Ciaran McGrath
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