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Over-75s to pay £150+ for TV licence from tomorrow

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The TV licence fee for over-75s will come into force tomorrow (1 August), unless this group receive pension credit.

The concession scheme for over-75s will come to an end tonight so from 1 August, the majority of people in this group will need to pay £157.50 for the TV licence.

However, those in receipt of pension credit can continue to benefit from the free TV licence.

And the BBC added that people will have a range of options to pay, such as choosing to pay weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, if they don’t want to pay the licence fee all in one go. Specialist phone contact centres have been set up or the licence can be bought online.

In March, the BBC and government confirmed they would delay reviving a TV licence fee for millions of over-75s. The date for re-introducing a fee for the TV licence for this group was pushed back from 1 June to 1 August 2020 but speculation mounted over the end date.

Are you eligible for pension credit?

Pension Credit tops up a pensioner’s weekly income if it’s below £173.75 for single pensioners and £265.20 for pensioner couples. You could also be eligible if you have savings, a pension or your own home.

Pension credit can also open up help with other bills such as council tax and utility bills. However, take up has been low with an estimated one million households failing to claim.

Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said: “Pension credit is there to help the very poorest of pensioners and it is vital that all those who are able to claim do so. Those who don’t will need to pay for their TV licence and miss out on important assistance with other bills.”

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “The BBC’s announcement that it will go ahead with plans to end free TV licences to those over 75s who are not entitled to pension credit from 1 August, after a two month delay, has once again stoked intergenerational tensions.

“Coming at a time when many over-75s will be particularly concerned over the health risks of being out and about doesn’t help. The BBC has to meet its expenditure from TV licences, and a u-turn once again offering free TV licenses to all over075s, whatever their income or wealth, would mean less to spend on programmes or an increase in the license fee for others including some in younger generations who may be equally stretched.

“Most pensioners have to get by on a fixed income and there will be some over-75s, not entitled to pension credit, who’ll face a real challenge in meeting the extra costs from 1 August.”