HC Deb 25 June 2002 vol 387 cc742-3W
Mr. Colman

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she proposes to adopt the new model of television licence fee evasion referred to in the National Audit Office report, "Collecting the Television Licence Fee"; and what estimate she has made of the level of television licence fee evasion for(a) the last month for which figures are available and (b) the last five years. [64586]

Dr. Howells

My Department is adopting the new model with effect from today. This will enable the BBC to use these new, improved figures in its annual report and accounts, as recommended by the NAO report.

The new model uses improved data to estimate the number of licensable premises. Consequently the level of estimates of evasion for previous years has been revised upward. The figures from the new model show, as did those from the old model, that evasion has declined steadily in recent years. The new model estimates evasion at 7.8 per cent. at the end of May 2002, compared with 8.6 per cent. at May 2001 and 11.4 per cent. at May 1997.

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