Andrew Bridgen questions the Government about figures that show women are twice as likely as men to be prosecuted and 7 times more likely to face the maximum fine for non-payment of the TV licence fee.
T4. Figures released last month show that women are twice as likely as men to be prosecuted and seven times more likely than men to face the maximum £1,000 fine for non-payment of the TV licence fee. Additionally, figures show that in 2015, the number of women jailed for offences relating to this matter doubled. Will my hon. Friend explain to the House why women seem to fall foul of the TV tax so disproportionately? 
Of course, sentencing in individual cases is a matter for the courts. However, the Government are concerned that women—and, indeed, men—should not be sent to custody if they do not need to be there. Revised guidance on sentencing for non-payment of the TV licence fee was issued today by the Sentencing Council. The guidelines set out possible factors that could reduce the seriousness of TV licence evasion, including circumstances in which the culprit is experiencing significant financial hardship.