BBC Delays Changes to TV Licenses for Over 75s


Changes to the BBC’s TV license for people over the age of 75 had been set to come into effect on June 1, but due to the coronavirus situation, the policy has been put on hold until August.

The BBC had been set to scrap free TV licenses for those 75 and older. Only those on pension credit were set to continue to receive free TV licenses from June 1 after the corporation took on responsibility for funding the benefit.

A joint statement from the BBC and Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said: “The BBC’s priority over the coming period will be to do everything we can to serve the nation at this uniquely challenging time. As the national broadcaster, the BBC has a vital role to play in supplying information to the public in the weeks and months ahead.”

Given the circumstances surrounding the national coronavirus situation, the BBC board decided to change the start date of the new policy, and the current plan is to now bring it into place on August 1. “We will, of course, keep the issue under review as the situation continues to evolve,” the statement continued.

Sir David Clementi, chairman of the BBC, said: “The BBC board has decided to delay changes to over 75s license fees. We are in exceptional circumstances. Now is not the right time. We are fully focused on delivering our services to the public at this difficult time.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added: “I am pleased the BBC has worked with us and agreed to delay their license fee changes for over 75s from coming in and will keep this under review. It will be welcome news to millions of older people who now don’t need to worry about their TV license during this challenging period. It is right that the BBC has recognized the exceptional circumstances posed by the Coronavirus outbreak and the need for the whole country to pull together in the national effort.”