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BBC licence fee set to rise in line with inflation

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The BBC licence fee will rise in line with inflation and the iPlayer ‘loophole’ will be closed, the government has announced.

As part of reforms to the BBC to make sure it remains a “valued public broadcaster for the future”, culture secretary John Whittingdale today announced the BBC licence fee will increase in line with inflation for five years from 2017/18.

The licence fee has been frozen since 2010 and it currently costs £145.50 per year (£49 for a black and white licence). After 2021/22, Whittingdale said there would be a new settlement which means the price could potentially rise further.

However, a more flexible payment plan is set to be introduced to pay the licence fee and the licence fee concession for over-75s will be protected during this parliament.

In March the culture secretary said he would close the iPlayer ‘loophole’ which allows people to catch-up on shows just minutes after the live transmission, as “soon as practicable”.

And today he confirmed that anyone watching a BBC programme on demand will need a TV licence “like everyone else”, though no time-scale has yet been set.

A draft version of the new BBC charter is expected to be published in the coming months and the government expects it to come into force from 1 January 2017.

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