Free tv licences for most over 75s ends in weeks, says BBC

Free television licences for most people aged over 75 will end in a few weeks.

The BBC says it is dropping the funding from the end of August.

It’s thought more than three million viewers will have to pay the £157.50 fee.

Exceptions will be made if someone is receiving the Pension Credit benefit.

Sir David Clementi

BBC chairman Sir David Clementi said:

“The decision to commence the new scheme in August has not been easy, but implementation of the new scheme will be Covid-19 safe.

“The BBC could not continue delaying the scheme without impacting on programmes and services.

“Around 1.5 million households could get free TV licences if someone is over 75 and receives Pension Credit, and 450,000 of them have already applied.

“And critically it is not the BBC making that judgment about poverty.

“It is the Government who sets and controls that measure.

“Like most organisations the BBC is under severe financial pressure due to the pandemic, yet we have continued to put the public first in all our decisions.

“I believe continuing to fund some free TV licences is the fairest decision for the public, as we will be supporting the poorest oldest pensioners without impacting the programmes and services that all audiences love.”

The BBC agreed to take on responsibility for funding the scheme as part of the charter agreement hammered out with the Government in 2015.

 


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.



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