BBC TV licence fee will increase by £1.50 from £157.50 a year to £159

BBC TV licence fee will increase by £1.50 from £157.50 a year to £159

February 8, 2021

BBC TV licence fee will increase by £1.50 from £157.50 a year to £159 from April 1

  • TV licence fee to be increased by £1.50, from £157.50 a year to £159 from April 1
  • New cost, set by the Government, equates to 43p a day, the BBC confirmed 
  • Comes as around 750,000 pensions are refusing to pay the fee after the free TV licences for anyone over 75 was scrapped 

The BBC TV licence will increase by £1.50, taking it from £157.50 a year to £159 from April 1.

The fee is set by the Government, which announced in 2016 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from April 2017.

The new cost equates to 43p per day, according to the broadcaster.

As of April 1, people will have to pay £1.50 more for their TV licence, taking it from £157.50 a year to £159. Picture: Broadcasting House in London

Those buying or renewing a licence after April 1 2021 will pay the new fee, while those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before that date, such as via a monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments, will continue to make payments totalling £157.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.

The cost of an annual black and white licence will rise from £53.00 to £53.50.

The licence fee model has come under fire recently amidst criticism of the broadcaster over equal pay, diversity and competition from streaming services such as Netflix, as well as the abolition of free TV licences for all over-75s.

Up to 750,000 pensioners are refusing to pay for a TV licence in protest after the free licences scheme was scrapped.

The protesters, who make up 14 per cent of the UK’s population of their age range, have ignored the flurry of reminders they have been given and are holding strong.

The BBC is now facing a £117million funding shortfall unless the over-75s fork over the £157.50 fee. 

As a result of the over-75s refusing to pay their TV licence, the BBC is now facing a £117million funding shortfall. Pictured: Demonstrators protest scrapping free licence fee in June 2020

Over-75s were able to watch terrestrial channels live for free for 20 years, until the Government scrapped the scheme last year.

The latest fee increase has come under fire, with hundreds of people taking to social media to express their anger, with some branding it a ‘disgrace’.

Many questioned whether staff at the BBC were paid too much and asked if their wages could be reduced instead of increasing the licence fee. 

One wrote: ‘So the licence fee is going up, ok by only £2, how about you save some more and reduce the wages of some presenters and radio DJs.’

Another said: ‘Defund the BBC immediately. They are putting up the TV licence again, people are struggling losing their jobs, putting food on the table, paying bills but hey out millionaire presenters need to get paid too. BBC are a disgrace.’ 

Many people took to social media to expression their frustration at the increase, with one branding the increase a ‘disgrace’

In a statement, the BBC confirmed the increase is equivalent to less than 3p a week with the overall cost of a licence equating to just 43p a day. 

It added: ‘Our programmes and services have been at heart of UK life for almost a century and never more so than in such an unprecedented year. 

What is covered in your TV licence fee?

  • BBC iPlayer
  • BBC Sounds
  • Nine national TV channels and regional programming 
  • Ten national radio stations
  • 40 local radio stations
  • Dedicated Nations radio services

‘Each week 91 per cent of UK adults come to the BBC, with an average of 5 million people using our services every single minute of the day and night, across TV, radio, and online.’ 

Reacting to the latest increase, John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Another hike in the hated TV tax is the last thing struggling households need.

‘Brits are fed up with seeing the Beeb splash their cash on loaded luvvies, politicised programming and generous expenses for BBC bosses.

‘It’s time to scrap the licence fee and let the public decide what’s worth paying for.’ 

Last year the BBC’s new director-general Tim Davie said the licence fee model was the best way of funding the BBC.

He told an Ofcom conference: ‘I haven’t seen a model that beats the current one at the moment, a universally funded licence fee.

‘The vast majority of households think it offers very good value. That’s what the BBC needs to focus on. Under my leadership, we’ll focus on that.’

Last month the Government said it is not going ahead with plans to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee but will keep the issue under ‘active consideration’.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said switching to a civil enforcement system risked being seen as an ‘invitation’ to evade the fee and could ultimately reward those who declined to pay.

But he said the Government remained concerned that a criminal sanction was ‘disproportionate and unfair’ in the current public service broadcasting landscape.

The BBC has previously warned that decriminalising licence fee evasion and switching to a civil system would cost it more than £1 billion and lead to significant cuts to programmes and services.

While the BBC claims it couldn’t afford to reinstate the over-75s concession, critics have denounced this and said the corporations can make savings. 

In 2019/20 the BBC generated £4.94billion – 71 per cent of which came from licence fees. 

The corporation also gets money by selling its programmes to other countries – Planet Earth generates £200million a year.  

The BBC has been approached for comment regarding the latest fee increase. 

Source: Read Full Article