Television licence fee is rising by £1.50

By Surrey and Hants News in Other News

From April 1, the cost of the annual television licence fee will increase to £147 - the first rise in seven years.

The government, responsible for setting the level of the licence fee, announced in 2016 that it would rise in line with inflation for five years from the beginning of April 2017.

Licence fee payers will receive a payment plan or a reminder reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal.

Those buying or renewing a licence after April 1 will pay the new fee. Those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme, such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments, which started before April 1 will continue to make payments totalling £145.50 until their licence is up for renewal.

TV Licensing’s London and south-east England spokesman Ben Craig said: “The free concession for those aged over 75 remains, although at present this is not issued automatically and anyone entitled to the concession must apply for it.

"If you are blind - severely sight-impaired - you are entitled to a 50 per cent concession on the cost of a TV licence.

"From April 1, 2017, this amount will be £73.50. TV Licensing provides a range of ways to pay, including small weekly cash payments and annual direct debit.”

The increase was calculated by the government using the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation, measured at one per cent last September.

The cost of an annual black-and-white licence will rise from £49 to £49.50. There is no change to the Accommodation for Residential Care concession, available to people in some residential care accommodation, which may include care homes or sheltered housing.

Anyone watching or recording TV as it is broadcast, or watching or downloading BBC programmes on the iPlayer, needs a licence, whether using a TV, computer or other equipment. For more information, visit tvlicensing.co.uk/info.