BBC confirms Over-75s will pay TV licence fee

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The BBC has confirmed plans to make most over-75s pay the TV licence fee, arguing that it is the only way to avoid closing channels and making substantial cutbacks.
Millions of households will now have to start paying £154.50 a year from June 2020 for the right to watch live television or access the BBC’s iPlayer service.
The BBC has said it will continue to provide TV licenses to over-75s who claim pension credit, a means-tested benefit designed to help the elderly.


However, up to 1.3 million families who were entitled to receive pension credit did not claim the benefit, according to official government figures – suggesting many poor households will be hit hard by the change. Charities including Age UK had warned that some pensioners will be pushed into relative poverty as a result of the change.

“It’s a massive hardship for millions of people,” said Claire O’Brien of Enders Analysis. “The really vulnerable won’t apply for this benefit – the disabled and lone females do not apply for benefits. And that will be true for this as well.”

The policy of free TV licences for the over-75s was introduced in 1999 by the then Labour chancellor, Gordon Brown, with the cost met by the government, who paid the BBC to provide the service.

Guardian
 

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