BBC: Public share their views on TV licence fee
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Thousands of pensioners could be eligible for a free TV licence saving them £159 a year if they claim Pension Credit and are 75 or over, Meanwhile, thousands more people could be forking out for the licence fee despite the fact they don’t need one or could be entitled to a reduction.
As the cost of living crisis continues to affect people’s personal finances, people are being urged to check they are receiving all the financial help they are entitled to.
One way they could make significant savings is by considering whether they need to buy a TV licence costing £159 a year.
Pension Credit entitles claimants to a free TV licence if they are also 75 or over yet 850,000 families could be missing out on this benefit, despite being entitled to it.
Thousands more Britons could be eligible for a reduction or may not need a TV licence at all if they only watch Netflix and YouTube and never watch live TV on any channel including BBC iplayer.
New plans which mean the BBC will be able to automatically check whether a person applying for a free TV Licence is on Pension Credit should help tackle this problem.
However, pensioners who are already paying and haven’t realised they are actually exempt should get in touch with TV Licensing to see if they are due a refund.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “The BBC’s disappointing decision to stop providing free TV licences for all over-75s has left low-income pensioners who remain eligible jumping through administrative hoops to avoid paying the charge.
“The changes mean those receiving Pension Credit will get the savings with minimum fuss, ensuring more people get the support they are entitled to as we tackle the cost of living and grow the economy.”
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Who qualifies for a TV licence discount?
- Blind or severely sight impaired people get a 50 percent reduction on their TV licence.
- Residents in care homes that have ARC schemes will pay a concessionary rate of £7.50, while those over-75s in residences with ARC schemes are eligible for a free licence.
- Over 75s in receipt of Pension Credit don’t have to pay.
- Anyone who doesn’t watch live TV on any channel or service, including BBC iPlayer.
Britons have been taking to Express.co.uk to complain about the TV licence fee which many say should be axed for everyone.
Reader @Smr2ley said: “When I first had to get a licence in the mid sixties it was a fiver.
“There was no Sky then, of course.
“How the hell did it ever get to 159?”
A TV Licensing spokesperson said: “Anyone aged 75 or over who receives Pension Credit is entitled to a free licence, paid for by the BBC.
“We work with groups throughout the UK which support people who fall into financial difficulty and raise awareness of the concessions and payment plans available, including options to spread the cost.”
What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea
How to cancel the TV licence:
On the TV Licensing website it says: “Please check you won’t need your licence again before it expires.
“That means you won’t ever be watching TV live on any channel or service, or using BBC iPlayer.
“If we approve your refund, your licence will be cancelled automatically.”
People can go to tvlicensing.co.uk to find out more about whether they are eligible for a refund or discount.
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