The increase is a further blow to over-75s who must start paying the TV licence from June
The cost of the annual television licence fee is set to rise from £154.50 to £157.50 on 1 April, the fourth year in a row it has gone up.
The Government, which sets the level of the licence fee, announced in 2016 it would rise in line with inflation for five years from 1 April 2017.
The new licence fee amount equates to just £3.02 a week or £13.13 a month.
The BBC is under fire over its decision to scrap free licences for the over-75s from June 2020.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, says the increase is another blow to the hundreds of thousands of over-75s who will struggle to afford a TV licence when they are axed.
She says: “The clock is ticking, and with only a few months to go, the BBC and the Government must urgently sit down and broker a solution to the TV licence debacle.
“Many of the over-75s who will lose their free licence are housebound due to ill health and disabilities and are almost completely reliant on their TV for entertainment, companionship and as a way to stay connected with the rapidly changing world.”
The news comes after the BBC announced it was cutting jobs as part of a bid to save tens of millions of pounds.
The broadcaster provides nine national TV channels plus regional programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations, national radio services, news websites and the iPlayer.
In the last financial year 95% of the BBC’s controllable spend went on content for audiences and delivery, with just 5% spent on running the organisation.
The BBC is facing a backlash over its decision to scrap free TV licences for the over-75s.
From 1 June 2020, up to 3.7 million pensioners aged over 75 will have to start paying for the TV licence unless they claim pension credit.
Age UK has warned that those on low incomes, battling loneliness, ill health and disabilities will be hardest hit by the removal of the licence fee concession.
It says that the decision could exclude some of the poorest and oldest pensioners from watching TV.
In 2015, the Government announced it would no longer subsidise the cost of the licence fee for over-75s and the BBC would have to find the funding itself, starting in 2020.
This left the BBC with the choice of either scrapping the concession for the elderly or cutting broadcasting services.
The Government has launched a consultation on whether non-payment of the TV licence fee should be decriminalised.
This would mean replacing the current system of criminal sanctions for non-payment with fines.
Are you still eligible for a free TV licence?
Around 1.5 million households that include someone over 75 claiming pension credit could still be eligible for a free licence.
However, Age UK estimates that two in five of all those eligible don’t claim pension credit, often because they don’t realise they are eligible.
In order to claim pension credit your weekly income must be less than £167.25 if you’re single, or £255.25 if you are a couple.
The quickest way to apply for pension credit is to call the pension service on 0800 991234. Alternatively, you can check your eligibility online on the government website at https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit.
TV LICENCE FOR OVER 75,s
Many people over 75 do less paying activities outside and have free bus travel when they do go out and also watch more tv than most ,so I do not think it unreasonable for them to pay the tv licence fee which will improve the quality of programs provided,plus many have younger people living with them that are also getting tv for free ,so maybe they can pay for them..Also deals with the question What do you get a 75 year old for Christmas? Family and friends whip round can now sort out that problem.
As an 80 year old just over the limit to get pension credit it will be a struggle to pay this extra bill, everything goes up, but when a pensioner not much increase for us to manage, especially as this bill will go up also in April, we need al the help we can, why not cut some of these very high salaries to everyone over a certain amount, let them all work for the same salary, some are ridiculously high, let’s get the money from those people not us poor soles who desperately need their tv entertainment, Thelma Harris
Its such a pity that the government are giving us a rise in our pensions with one hand and the BBC are taking it back for the TV licence,as usual the ordinary person never benefits .
A solution to the license fee could be to make it a subscription service. Scramble the BBC signal and provide a dongle for everyone who subscribes - like Netflix. This would then leave free to air services funded by advertising (ITV, Channel4/5 etc) available to those who won't sign up to BBC service. You already have to sign in to prove you have a license to use Iplayer.
I think it is appalling that they plan to remove free licences for the over 75's.
Year after year we have paid more, for less and less, (no cricket, no formula 1), , and certain presenters receive ridiculously high salaries, (I could do the job for much less). It is about time the BBC either took sponsorship for programs, or accepted advertising (we are used to it on all other channels).
TV license rise
Stealth tax more like,😡 BBC funding projects that they then charge to watch, do you like paying twice? Not me
Free TV license
I am over 75 and have decided not to watch tv from June 1920 as I don’t think I should pay (I’m not eligible for pension credit) having worked all my life and continue to pay tax! Many of those eligible haven’t worked and paid tax yet they don’t have to pay for a license. As per usual those who’ve scrimped and saved are penalised!! It’s unfair especially as M.P’s don’t pay for a license, amongst other perks (subsidised meals etc) and they are much better off than me and richer than most average pensioners. What a cockeyed world we live in!!!