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TV Licence price hike announced

The cost of a TV Licence is increasing by £4 a year from April 2019.

The Government confirmed the annual price rise to £154.50 today. The fee is being increased in line with inflation. This is part of a five year arrangement, which started in April 2017 and followed several years of static licence fee costs. The licence fee settlement also included the change to require iPlayer users to be covered by a TV Licence.

The BBC says the new licence fee amount equates to just £2.97 a week or £12.87 a month, for which it "provides nine national TV channels plus regional programming; 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations plus dedicated Nations radio services; one of the UK’s most popular websites; the radio app BBC Sounds; and BBC iPlayer".

However there is increasing resistance to the licence fee: record numbers of younger audiences don't consume BBC content, with research finding 44% of males aged 16-34 watch no BBC TV in a typical week. Ofcom says youths are more likely to turn to YouTube.

Licence fee payers will receive a reminder or a payment plan reflecting the new amount when their licence is next due for renewal. Those buying or renewing a licence after 1st April 2019 will pay the new fee. 

Those already buying a licence on an instalment scheme which started before 1st April 2019, such as monthly direct debit or weekly cash payments, will continue to make payments totalling £150.50 until their licence comes up for renewal.

Currently, over 75s are entitled to a free TV licence. Proposals which could lead to a change in this concession are currently being consulted on.