In the UK, citizens and residents need to pay a licence fee to watch or record any live television that is broadcast. It is also needed to watch live programming on certain streaming services, such as SkyGo and Amazon Prime. The BBC is responsible for dealing with the collection of television licence fees from the public.
However, thousands of people across the country are eligible for a sizeable discount on their fee bill, including Britons who are blind.
According to NHS statistics, the UK is home to around two million people living with sight loss. Of these people, around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.
People who register as legally blind will be able to apply for a 50 percent discount to their BBC TV licence fee.
Currently, a blind concession television licence costs £79.50 for colour and £26.75 for a black and white TV licence.
If someone were to pay the full price, the cost of a TV licence in the UK is £159 for a colour licence and £53.50 for a black and white licence.
Someone who is legally blind must go through a rigorous application process to receive this discount and must provide a great deal of documentation to verify their blindness status.
However, many Britons believe this discount does not go far enough in terms of support and some are calling for the abolishment of the licence altogether.
Reacting to the a reminder about the discount, some Express.co.uk readers voiced their anger over how some people may not be eligible for such support and can not afford to pay it.
Reacting to the discount for blind people, “Lord Peregrine Penworthy” said: “Well, that’s good value, half price licence if you’re blind, you couldn’t make it up.”
Trevor Ammanford added: “I can’t get over how generous the government is giving blind people half price TV licences. Do they also give them half price driving licences too?”
Mark of Commonsense said: “Surely a television when ‘viewed’ by a blind person is effectively just a radio and therefore it should be totally free.
“Who on earth at the BBC comes up with these money grabbing sick schemes?”
Addressing the varying costs between different licences, “Aces high” said: “Unbelievable, the person is blind so why does black and white and colour matter, this is truly pathetic.”
Another named RhinoHide added: “Everyone should claim their 100 percent discount and stop paying.”
Agreeing with this train of thought, a reader with the username Lord Justin said: “Scrap the TV tax. Privatise the BBC.”
Marni added: :I don’t like watching the BBC so will continue not to have a licence. If their programmes were any good I would buy a new TV and license.
A reader called “sjj” said: “Given how bad the BBC is now for new content the TV License should be paid back to the people, we shouldn’t be funding their website and over Inflated wages.”
“B1” added: “Simply get rid of the BBC tax and make it a subscription-based service so that way the public have a choice.
“I can see why the BBC would be against it, as it would mean they would have to survive on merit as opposed to the gravy train.”
“Brock.the.Elder”: “I refuse to pay for the BBC, it’s been detuned from my set and I mostly watch Netflix or Amazon Prime if I actually want to watch something which isn’t often. Not paying for something I don’t use and I have that option”
“ValBrooke” agreed with this, saying: “Even my grandparents now watch everything online, no TV license required.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the BBC and TV Licensing asking for comment.
Published at Wed, 20 Oct 2021 14:34:00 +0000