Great Britain

How much does a TV licence cost and do I need one?

BBC TV licences will rise by £3 from April this year.

On February 3 The Government confirmed the hike, which will be the fourth one in as many years.

But how much does a TV licence cost and do I need one?

How much does a TV licence cost?

The cost of the annual TV licence will increase by £3 from April 1 2019 from £154.50 to £157.50.

The government said in 2016 the fee would rise in line with inflation for five years every year from 1 April 2017.

Do I need a TV licence?

You don't need a TV licence to own or have a TV set.

However, watching live TV or catch-up through the BBC iPlayer on any device without a TV licence is a criminal offence and if you're caught, you could be fined up to £1,000.

In Jersey the maximum fine is £500.

You can pay for your licence all in one go or spread the cost throughout the year using direct debit.

Almost 3.5million Brits have cancelled their TV licence fee in the last four years — a rate of almost one million a year.

What can't I watch or record without a TV licence?

Do over-75s need a TV licence?

In June 2019 BBC bosses axed free licences for the over-75s.

Any household where at least one person still receives pension benefit will continue to get the licence for free.

But from June 2020, around 3.7million pensioners will have to shell out to watch TV.

Why won't the BBC pay for it?

The free licence fee was first paid for by a Labour Government in 2000.

Under the Conservatives in 2015, ministers announced that an agreement had been reached between Government and the BBC, and the broadcaster would shoulder the cost.

Yet in 2019 the Beeb said it couldn't afford it and now pensioners will have to pay.

Under the new scheme, over-75s will have to start paying licence fees from June 2020, unless at least one person in the household receives pension credit.

The Beeb has defended the move, saying funding free TV licences for all over-75s would have led to "unprecedented closures".

A petition led by Age UK to demand the Government takes back responsibility for funding free TV licenses for everyone over 75 has gained more than 250,000 signatures.

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