§ Mr. Sarwar
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many television licences were issued and how many licence holders were entitled to refunds on the basis of interference or bad reception for the last year for which figures are available.
§ Janet Anderson
Television licensing statistics relate to licences in force rather than licences issued. As at 31 March 2000, there were an estimated 23.3 million television licences in force. The licence fee is a payment for permission to install or use television to receive television programmes and not for the provision of a service. Refunds are therefore not available in cases of interference or poor reception.