14/02/2020

TV licence fee to increase from April

14/02/2020

TV licence fee to increase from April

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The cost of the annual tv licence fee will rise from £154.50 to £157.50; the BBC has announced.

The government, who is in charge of setting the fee, have confirmed that the price will increase by £3 from April.

According to the BBC, the new price will work out at £3.02 per week, which equals £13.13 per month.

Those who are blind (severely sight impaired) are entitled to a 50% concession on the cost of a licence, which means from 1 April 2020 this amount will be £78.75.

The cost of an annual black and white licence will also rise from £52.00 to £53.00.

Paying your TV licence allows you to use BBC services, including national radio stations, tv channels, the BBC sounds app and iPlayer.

This is in line with the announcement they made in 2016 that the fee would rise in line with inflation for five years beginning in April 2017.

The rise in cost has come amidst disputes surrounding the future of the licence fee after it was reported in December that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stated it needed “looking at”.

It was also reported last year that the government said they would look at decriminalising non-payment of the fee.

The increase has sparked public outrage, with people calling for the broadcaster to demolish the fee altogether.

Match of the Day host, Gary Lineker called for the fee to be made voluntary, despite being the broadcaster’s highest-paid presenter.

He suggested that it should become something that people can ‘opt into’, allowing the price to be raised and proceeds to potentially be used towards offering disadvantaged or elderly viewers discounts.

He told the Guardian: “You’re forced to pay it if you want a TV, and therefore it’s a tax.

“I’ve always said for a long time, I would make it voluntary. I don’t know the logistics of how it would work.

“You would lose some people, but at the same time, you’d up the price a bit.

“(The licence fee) is the price of a cup of coffee a week at the moment. If you put it up you could help older people or those that can’t afford it.”

There have also been concerns surrounding the BBC’s plans to no longer provide a free TV licence to the majority of over-75s from June 1.

The new rules will be that only those aged 75 or over who are receiving Pension Credit will be eligible to apply for a free TV Licence, leaving 3.7 million households to be charged for one.

However, the BBC has stated that this increase will not currently affect the over-75s free licence for those who are eligible.

Licence fee payers will receive a reminder or a payment plan reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal. Those buying or renewing a licence after 1 April 2020 will pay the new fee.

Those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before 1 April 2020, such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments, will continue to make payments totalling £154.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.

TV Licensing will be advising licence fee payers due to renew in March to pay on time so they will pay the current rate of £154.50. Those buying a new licence before 1 April 2020 will also pay the current rate.

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