They dont have Lineker! Britons fury as overpriced BBC shamed by low EU TV licence fees

Gary Lineker ‘should be paid living wage’ says Lee Anderson

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The BBC has increasingly come under fire over the cost of its TV licence and the decision to scrap concessions for the elderly in the UK. Since last August, only those receiving pension credit are exempt from paying the hefty bill. Across the EU most countries have either abolished their TV licences or never had one in the first place.

Among those that do charge for one, prices range between €36 per year (£30) in Greece and €160 (£135) in Ireland.

In France, a TV licence costs €139 (£117).

In Italy, residents only pay €90 (£76) per year for their Rai state broadcasters channels, compared to the hefty £157.5 bill in the UK.

Over-75s in Italy still enjoy a free TV licence.

Only Germany, Austria and Denmark top the BBC’s bill, respectively with €210 (£177), €335 (£283) and €259 (£220) per year.

The comparison infuriated Express.co.uk readers who blamed former footballer, now BBC presenter, Gary Lineker for the hefty cost of their licences.

One reader said: “Why should people be forced to pay for the obscenely high wages paid to so-called self-opinionated celebrities?”

And another: “I’ve refused to pay for a TV licence for over 20 years now.

“Let Gary Lineker and Claudia Winkleman live their multimillionaire lifestyle without me paying towards it.

“Never again will I ever give the BBC a single penny.”

Someone else added: “These other countries also don’t pay’“has been soccer player’ huge sums of money for their opinion.”

Another reader echoed: “Yes the BBC’s astronomical pay to the soccer has-been is probably the single biggest irritant.

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“He must have a good agent to negotiate such ludicrous sums.

“The irony is that the BBC could advertise his job at 5 percent of the salary and still have a line of wannabes queuing round the corner.”

More complained about the BBC presenters’ wages.

One said: “Perhaps they don’t have overpaid know-all’s like Lineker, Kuenssberg and their ilk.”

Someone else blasted: “They don’t have to keep Gary in the manner and lifestyle he is accustomed to! Someone has to pay! Let the poor pensioners pick the bill up for the champagne socialist!”

The former England footballer is the top-earning presenter at the BBC and was paid £1.36million in the last year.

In the UK, The BBC introduced a temporary payment amnesty amid the pandemic.

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However, they confirmed at the end of June that 3.6 million of the 3.9 million people aged over 75 who needed to pay £157.50 for an annual TV licence had done so.

Those left outstanding would receive letters to remind them and provide support.

One reader confirmed: “I had one of those letters.

“Threatening me with a 1000 pounds fine and a criminal record.

“How can Capita get away with this? They are just salesmen for the BBC after all.

“They have no powers to interview me under caution as they state in the letter.

“It’s about time the BBC was defunded and went subscription.”

Maintaining the free service for the over-75s would have cost the BBC £745million, at a time when it faces competition from streaming platforms.

The BBC expects to have collected £400million from the over 75s since last August. It increased the fee to £159 in April.

Former England cricket captain Lord Botham lashed out at the corporation for charging pensioners licence fee payments.

In a letter to The Telegraph, Lord Botham wrote: “Viewers can see that the moral crime here is that the BBC has broken its promise to the over-75s that it would pay for their licences.

“A grassroots revolt against the licence fee is underway, and it is being led by pensioners.

“The BBC is one scandal away from a wholesale licence fee rebellion.”

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