TV licence fee fury as BBC spends £3m on mugs and magnets – equivalent of 20,000 licences


The eyewatering sum is equivalent to nearly 20,000 TV licences. The taxpayer-funded corporation will spend millions on hoodies, mugs, magnets and umbrellas to hand out to stafff and viewers. They say it is to promote programmes and “corporate identities”. The decsion is likely to anger pensioners and campaigners against the BBC’s recent decision to enforce the annual £154.50 fee on those aged over 75s.

The BBC sparked uproar earlier this month after it announced it was abolishing the free TV licenses for over 75s, with the plans taking effect from June 2020.

Only households with someone in receipt of Pension Credit will be able to claim a free TV licence, meaning around 3.7million over-75s will be stung by the annual £154.50 fee.

The move has caused an outcry, with thousands condemning the BBC’s decision.

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From June 2020 only around 1.5 million households will be eligible for a free TV licence under the new scheme.

The Government has been criticised for forcing the financial burden on to the BBC.

Meanwhille, it was revealed this week that BBC stars have seen their wages rise by nearly seven percent since last year.

The broadcaster spent £157million on BBC talent last year, up from £147.6million the year before, according to the Daily Mail.

On Tuesday, furious pensioners protested outside of the BBC offices in Belfast over the decision to scrap free TV licenses for the over 75s.

Earlier this month, a campaigner warned the decision could lead to an increase in elderly suicides.

Gemma Humes told the North West Evening Mail the free licence fee cuts could leave elderly people without “company” if they cannot afford to watch television.

She said: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking that many elderly people won’t be able to afford to watch TV and they will lose the companionship that having it on will provide.

“It will make them feel glum. I think it could lead to more suicides among elderly people.”

Theresa May also urged the BBC to rethink its decision.

Age UK has set up a national petition against the licence fee cuts, and has so far gained more than 600,000 signatures.

A BBC spokesman said items would be sold in the shop. 

He said: “This tender covers both the BBC and our commercial operations, which are not funded by the licence fee and includes requirements including Blue Peter Badges and material for schools.” 


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