Means tested TV Licences
Published on 10 July 2020 11:47 AM
From 1st August 2020, the BBC will no longer fund free TV licences for people aged 75+, unless someone in their household is aged 75+ and on Pension Credit.
You may recall that we ran a campaign last year to alert people in the City and County to the £52 million waiting to be claimed by people who should be receiving Pension Credit but weren’t.
Now is the time to act: If you are on a very low income and don’t know if you are entitled to additional benefits or not, we can help. Call our Advice Team today on 0115 844 0011 and find out.
Why is this change happening?
Free TV licences for all people aged 75+ were introduced by the Labour government in 2000 and was a government-funded benefit. In 2015, the Conservative government transferred responsibility to fund the benefit to the BBC as part of the funding settlement. The change was due to come into force earlier in 2020 but it was delayed by 2 months because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
In 2019, Age UK ran a national campaign to raise awareness of the hardship this would cause and over 630,000 people signed a petition to keep the licence free. The BBC estimate that only around 450,000 of the 1.5 million people eligible for Pension Credit are actually claiming it.
What happens next?
The BBC will write to all affected licence holders and explain fully what will happen next. You will be able to pay online and a dedicated telephone line will be set up to help support the transition to the new system.
Caroline Abrahams (Charity Director, Age UK) says:
“The government cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the upset and distress being caused to many of our over-75s today, the poorest and most isolated, above all. And the sadness is that these older people have already endured so much over the past few months.”
NOW is the time to act.
If you are on a very low income and don’t know if you are entitled to additional benefits or not, we can help. Call our Advice Team today on 0115 844 0011 and find out if you can make a claim.
You have nothing to lose but could gain a lot, including a free TV licence which currently costs £157.50.