asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inquiries were received by the television licence centre at Bristol in 1981 concerning the possibility of refunds of television licence fees after the holder had died.
No record is kept of the number or nature of applications for television licence refunds.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received about refunding the balance of television licence fees upon the death of the licence holder; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will consider seeking to introduce a scheme of refunds of television licence fees for unexpired licences on the death of the holder where the holder has died more than 28 days after the start of the licence.
In the last six months we have received 16 representations from hon. Members and 20 from other members of the public on this subject. My right hon. Friend has not been able to accept the proposal because the grounds on which refunds may be given must be limited if the licensing system is to remain manageable.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will estimate the number of families who would benefit from a scheme of refunds of television licence fees following the death of a licence holder;(2) what would be the cost of implementing a scheme of refunding the television licence fee in the case of the death of the licence holder, or a proportion thereof.
The only estimate we can make is of the number of deaths of licence holders living alone: about 150,000 a year. If a refund of the licence fee were made in these cases, the overall cost would be in the region of £2½ million to £3 million a year.