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TV Licensing: Who is eligible for a free or discounted TV Licence?





The price of a TV Licence is rising.

From next April households will need to cough-up an extra £10.50 for their licence fee but there are some exemptions and we’ve taken a look below at what they are:

The TV Licence funds BBC operations. Image: iStock.
The TV Licence funds BBC operations. Image: iStock.

What is a TV Licence for?

The money collected from the licence fee pays for BBC television programmes and services – such as TV, radio, its websites and other podcasts and apps.

It is described by those administering the payment scheme as a ‘must-have’ pass to watch live TV.

You therefore need a TV Licence to watch – or record – live television on any channel or service, not just those owned or run by the BBC.

You also need a TV Licence to access BBC streaming services. However you do not need a licence to watch other services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus. It’s also not necessary in order to watch videos on websites such as YouTube.

You don’t need a licence to watch streaming services like Netflix. Image: iStock.
You don’t need a licence to watch streaming services like Netflix. Image: iStock.

How much will a TV Licence soon cost?

A TV Licence currently costs £159 – or £53.50 for anyone still maintaining a black and white TV set.

From April the price of a TV Licence is increasing by £10.50 to £169.50.

The cost of a licence is going up in April. Picture: TV Licensing
The cost of a licence is going up in April. Picture: TV Licensing

Who must buy a TV Licence?

The law says you must have a TV Licence to be covered when watching or recording TV on any channel via a service such as Sky, Virgin, BT, Freeview or Freesat or when watching TV live on a streaming service.

If you don’t own a TV or you’re not watching TV live on any channel or service, or through iPlayer, or you have an empty property, you must complete a No Licence Needed declaration via the TV Licensing website.

There are exemptions for those in a household receiving Pension Credit. Image: iStock.
There are exemptions for those in a household receiving Pension Credit. Image: iStock.

Who still gets a free TV Licence?

In 2020 the BBC ended its scheme through which it covered the cost of all licence fees for all over-75s.

Instead, it now only pays the licence fees of people of that age who are collecting the DWP benefit Pension Credit.

If you are blind or have severe sight impairment and can provide the ‘appropriate evidence’ you are eligible to apply for a 50% discount to your licence fee. The licence will also cover anyone who lives with you.



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