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TV licences: BBC to go ahead with over-75s licence fee changes

News / Thu 9th Jul 2020 at 01:03pm

THE BBC is to go ahead with a plan to end free TV licences for most over-75s, after a two-month delay because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That means more than three million households will be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee from 1 August.

Only households where someone receives the Pension Credit benefit will still be eligible for a free licence.

The BBC said the new scheme is “the fairest decision”, but the government said it was “deeply frustrating”.

Why has this decision been taken?

The controversial change was originally due to be made on 1 June, and the BBC said the delay had cost £35m a month.

The cost of continuing to provide free licences to all over-75s could have reached £1bn a year over time with an ageing population, according to the corporation.

BBC Chairman Sir David Clementi said the decision had “not been easy”, but the broadcaster is under “under severe financial pressure” and a further delay would have had an impact on programmes.

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