(c) endbbclicencefee.wordpress.com 2015
This is taken from a comment below one of my articles, by Ludo Thierry. It far surpasses my starter for information value so I wanted it to get more profile by posting it separately.
Kulaprahba’s calculations (another contributor) are borne out by no less an authority than the House of Commons Library which very recently produced a report (info below):
Estimated TV licence evasion rate was between 6.2% and 7.2% in 2015/16: The highest evasion rate (10%) was recorded in Scotland. The evasion rate in Northern Ireland stood at 9%. In England and Wales, the evasion rate stood at 6%.
So, we might not be qualifying for major international tournaments in the gents’ footy these days – but, by God, we’re winning the beeb tax licence evasion stakes.
There are a few other beeb licence tax metrics I came across that I hope are interesting.
Search warrants (info from wicki): Information provided by the Scottish Court Service suggests that TV Licensing search warrant applications in Scotland are virtually non-existent. In their response to a FOI request the Scottish Court Service confirmed that no search warrant applications were made to courts in Scotland’s two largest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, in the three-and-a-half years between 1 January 2011 and 21 July 2014.
Court action (info from wicki): In 2014, 204,018 people were prosecuted or fined for TV licence offences: 185,580 in England and Wales, (173,044 in England and 12,536 in Wales), 4,905 people in Northern Ireland and 15 in the Isle of Man. In Scotland, there were 13,486 cases disposed of via an out of court fine and 32 prosecuted via the courts in 2013-2014
‘Fines’ (info from wicki): The average fine is £170 in England and Wales, £80 in Northern Ireland, £75 in Scotland (out-of-court disposal)
(Instead of prosecution, in Scotland, TV licence fee evaders are usually asked by the Procurator Fiscal to pay a fiscal fine and a small number are simply given a warning. For example, in 2013-2014, just 10 cases reached the courts whereas 12,969 people were asked to pay a fiscal fine, no action was taken in 275 cases, and 174 people were sent a warning. In addition, 2 people were asked to pay compensation and 1 person was offered the chance to pay a combination of fiscal fine and compensation. In 2013-14, almost all of the fiscal fines (12,603 out of 12,969) were at the level 2 rate of £75)
Imprisonment (info from wicki): In England and Wales, 39 people were given an average of 20 days in 2014 (compared to 32 in 2013 and 51 in 2012). There were no custodial sentences imposed during the 5-year period 2009-10 to 2013-14 in Scotland.
Before we get too impressed at all these metrics demonstrating Scotland to be following a much more enlightened path – let’s just remember who is having the last laugh here (info from Republic of Scotland website below):
Page 55 of the BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17 contains a table showing how many people the BBC employs in different parts of the UK. I have summarised the results for London and Scotland below.
Location % of UK Population % of UK PSB Staff (equivalent full time)
London 13.3% 47%
Scotland 8.3% 7%
London’s population is only 60% greater that Scotland’s but the BBC employs 570% more Londoners that Scots. Also remember that most, if not all, of these London employees will be paid the London weighting subsidy which comes out of the BBC tax.
Good to see La Resistance to the beeb tax is apparently alive and kicking here in Scotland (and that the Scottish legal system seems much less inclined to allow itself to be harnessed as an unpaid (but very costly to the Scottish exchequer) tax collector for the massively overpaid beeb propaganda-mongers).
Footnote: See this from an angry Daily Torygraph in 2016:
‘No Scots jailed for dodging licence fee as calls for scrapping criminal penalties grow louder’
No Scots were jailed for the offence in more than five years due to legal reforms, while thousands from England and Wales are punished