Very unfair for me and the BBC
Dear Sir, — The licence fee, which is in the news at the moment, is required to watch any television in Britain, whether BBC, ITV or any other broadcast source on a television set. However, I have never seen in any other comments on the subject, consideration of the cost of Independent Television. It is certainly not free; we all pay in the increased cost of retail items, particularly household goods, which is needed to pay for the advertising.
An earlier government decided that people over 75 (which includes me) should not have to pay to watch television. But we do! The licence was made free to the over 75s but I still have to pay the inflated prices every time I go shopping, for items which are advertised on independent television. This is very unfair; not only to me, but also to the BBC.
If the BBC has to cover the cost of the licence fee to over 75s, as is proposed, then the Government should also make the independent television companies refund to those over 75 what they have contributed in supermarkets and shops, to the running of independent television.
Many people do not realise how much this is. The cost of running all non-subscription independent television channels is roughly comparable to the running cost of the BBC television channels. We all pay for ITV, not only those over 75, but even people without a television set!
The only way of avoiding it is to note the products being advertised, and avoid buying them when you go shopping. But that will not work, because the advertising revenue is sometimes spread across a company, and not just applied to the one product.
So in future I look forward to a refund of £155.50 (approx) per annum, in addition to my free licence. — Yours faithfully,
Ex BBC communications supervisor.