Thousands face £1,000 fine over controversial TV licence change

Thousand of UK households are facing a £1,000 from this weekend amid a rule change to the TV licence. Pensioners face a £1,000 fine if they don’t get TV licence this week.

On 1 August 2020 the BBC announced TV licences would no longer be free for those over 75.

Now, a year later, that rule change is about to come in to force.

The BBC will start charging everyone for a TV licence from Sunday – and people could be hit with a four figure fine if they don’t have one.

Hundreds of thousands of people aged over 75 could face a £1,000 fine from August 1, if they do not buy a TV licence.

What the BBC said in a statement

In a statement, the BBC said: “As we have now reached a situation where over-75s households are in line with the general population, the extended transition period we put in place due to Covid-19 will end on 31 July 2021.

“In line with general policy, anyone who watches or records live TV programmes on any channel, or downloads or watches BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer, must be covered by a valid TV licence.”

Today, the TV licence costs £157.50 a year, or £53 for black and white TV sets.

The licence fees existence is guaranteed until at least 31 December 2027 by the BBC’s Royal Charter.

Silver Voices, which has campaigned against the TV licence changes, said “a significant hard core remains of over-75s who are refusing or unable to pay”.

The group’s Dennis Reed added: “Is the BBC going to fine and potentially take to court hundreds of thousands of senior citizens who are standing out against the scrapping of this welfare benefit?

“We have massive political and media support for a rethink on this issue and the government now needs to intervene urgently to force a solution.”

However, if people claim Pension Credit they will still be entitled to a free TV licence.

If you are eligible, you need to apply for a free TV licence as it’s not given out automatically. For an application form you can call TV licensing on 0300 790 6117.

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