Most Over-75s are Going to Have to Start Paying for Their TV Licence

By Tom Pritchard on at

We have to pay for a TV licence if we want to watch live TV, regardless of which channel it is, which a fair few people tend to be quite resentful of. But what might make them feel a bit better about coughing up £145 a year is that those older types are going to have to start ponying up the cash too. It's been announced that most over-75s are going to have to start paying for their TV licences from next June.

I say most, because not all of them will have to. Households with at least one person that qualifies for pension credit will still qualify for a free TV licence. The rest of them are out of luck. The BBC has admitted that it's a difficult decision to have made, but with the increasing number of elderly people in the UK, and the fact they're the ones who seem to be getting the most out of the BBC, it's been decided that it's not entirely fair for younger generations to subsidise elderly viewers.

In fact a recent consultation of 190,000 people found that 52 per cent of them were in favour of scrapping or reforming free TV Licences. And if that ratio is apparently good enough for Brexit it's obviously good enough for this.

BBC Chairman David Clemenil said:

"We think it's fair to those over 75 but also to all our audiences for whom there was no appetite for the level of cuts that would have been necessary if the concession had been extended.

There are people for whom this will be unwelcome news, who have not paid until now but will do so.

We know we have a loyal audience over the age of 75 and we think many of them will understand the difficult position we are in."

The elderly only started getting a free TV licence after a Labour government imitative to reduce poverty levels among pensioners, but since that programme was scrapped by Conservatives the BBC has been faced with the problem of footing the bill itself. A bill that was expected to rise to over £725 million, which isn't exactly small change. It's not ideal for old people who enjoyed not having to deal with constant letters from the TV licensing people, but at least this reduces the burden on the BBC down to £250 million.  [BBC News]

Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash